Friday, June 10, 2011

Sometimes-Friend, Always-Daddy (I)

Image courtesy of our friend Ysenia. Model: Joss. Clothes: not sure.

"I'm not your friend! I'm your daughter!"

The first part of that statement came from school - from the subtle, controlling interactions that kids have with each other.

"Oh, you're not going to let me get my way?," the three-year olds threaten each other on an hourly basis, huddling next to the toys like war chiefs over weapons and suitcases full of money. "Well then, you'll just have to get by without my friendship. See what I did there? I played you like a puppet, child!"

It is manipulative, of course. Children themselves are easily duped because they don't have their guards up (yet). Because they are the victims of manipulation so frequently, it is only a matter of time before they learn easy ways of pulling each others' strings.

They're like political parties in that sense.

In about five-to-ten years, she will develop much more subtle, crafty, nuanced, and yet sharper-edged tools to move her parents like pawns on a chess board. It will be hard during this period to keep up. But afterwards she will become a full-fledged, emerging adult.

And then we can finally give up trying.

Stay tuned for Part 2

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