How My 4 Year Old Shows Me He's Maturing

Son #1 has been going through a phase where he insults my parenting skills whenever I make him do something he doesn't want to. I know he doesn't mean it, but it still smarts. Here are a few examples:

me: "Put your toys away, or I'll take them away."
him: "You're a bad mommy!"

me: "TV off, kiddo. You've watched enough."
him: "I'm not going to be your son anymore!"

me: "I know you don't want to leave, but we have to go home now."
him: "I don't want to go home with you. Just send me to outer space. I'll live with the friendly aliens."

Now, I know these statements make my kid sound like a spoiled brat, but to be honest, he's actually a very well-behaved little boy. I've come to recognize this phase as proof that my child understands that threatening to withdraw affection is the worst punishment you can inflict on someone who loves you. This is an important lesson, because it will reinforce to him how important family bonds actually are.

In fact, his most recent retort proved to me how quickly he is maturing:

me: "You can't wear your pajama's all day. Please get dressed."
him: (bristling with anger) "Mommy, just because I love you doesn't mean I love you soooo much!"

Hey, as long as he gets his clothes on, that's a comeback I can live with. :)

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