I was at a workshop yesterday with Ricki, and the topic was puppets. I have used puppets in the past, most recently taking one to the hospital when Ricki had her eye surgery.
Puppets are great, and if you are a parent, and have no puppets, you are missing some big artillery guns in your “tame those wild monsters (kids)” arsenal. Kids will accept almost any statement from a puppet rather than you. Somehow “Pick up this mess; this room looks like a pigsty.” is funny coming from the mouth of Muppet…… while if you say it, you are a domineering bossy pest. It seems, somehow, that kids don’t like to hear our well-meaning helpful suggestions (ie., Mommy’s domineering rules).
And if you think the kids are the only ones who want to show that smidgen of independence from authority, think again. Isn’t it true that if your spouse tells you that the back storage room looks like it got side swapped by hurricane Katrina, it will probably raise your hackles, even though you have been telling yourself the same thing for the last month? (Got to do it someday….) And if, G-d forbid, your mother-in-law would state the same to you over the phone, chances are that as you hang up you will reach for a chocoholic fix. (I know you don’t have chocolate in the house. You’re dieting. I’m talking about the little piece hidden in the corner of the freezer just for emergencies like this….)
It all boils down to the fact that no one likes being told what to do. We would much rather face our short-comings on our own time and space, than have someone else point them out to us. We would like to feel in charge of our own lives and destiny. [Perhaps this is one reason people who do not believe in G-d are more apt to turn to Him in time of crises. When faced with something that interferes with our sense that “I AM in control”, we try to regain control by striking a deal with the Almighty.]