“You’re not the boss of me” was a common phrase out of the mouth of my middle son growing up, especially throughout his terrible twos (and threes and fours and fives… ) If someone told him what to do (other than me of course, because he always knew I was the boss of him) and he didn’t feel like doing it or think he should do it, “you’re not the boss of me!” was his answer.
When he started school, I had to explain to him that his teacher would be “the boss of you” at school. When his father and I would go out for the evening leaving our sons with a sitter, we would first have to sit this son down and explain to him that the sitter “is the boss of you tonight.” Or if he was going somewhere with his big brother, the big brother was “the boss of you” on that occasion. The funny part was that he was okay with those explanations. As long as I didn’t forget to tell him who was “the boss of him” his behaviour was great.
Now that he has matured to an almost 24-year-old adult, he has figured out that he has to be “the boss of himself” in most circumstances. Repercussions and consequences for bad behaviour and poor decisions are much more serious as an adult.
Just wait until he tells me he is getting married; I will have to explain to him that if he is smart, he will realize “she’s the boss of you.”