Supervision with Child as Supervisor (IEE>ESI but could be any supervision relationship)
Sharing in case this helps anybody who is dealing with a child who seems to be their supervisor! Kind of long so don't bother reading unless it interests you, but that goes without saying.
My little six year-old is probably Delta NF. I thought at first INFj but more and more he seems like an ENFp. Of course I am not going to pigeon-hole him and will wait and see, just observing for now.
There are some supervision issues already starting.
Basically what is happening is he bristles at my telling him what to do in a way that is very different from some other adults in his life (his father, grandparents), whether I try to be very nice and polite or even get more firm with him. No matter how I approach it, he doesn't like me to give him advice or tell him what to do. And he sometimes says pretty disrespectful things to me that he just never would say to his SLI dad, and when I ask him why he said such a mean thing, he just doesn't know. "It just came out," he'll tell me.
Now, again, he's six! This is part of being six, too, I'm sure. I manage it fine and obviously love him completely either way and let him know that. He is very sweet, and we have lots of good times, too, but honestly it can be frustrating to get pushback on the simplest thing I say to him at times.
Anyway, kind of a breakthrough: today I figured out that instead of authoritatively telling him everything, I would start asking him. Not asking whether it's okay to do things ("Do you want to get your shoes on now?" <-- not a good idea to ask kids if they want to do what they have to do haha), but instead I've been asking his advice. Amazingly, it seems to relax situations and he seems to feel more empowered. It's as if he thinks his mommy needs lots of help (hah!) and loves that I am asking him to advise. (I don't want to create a situation where he has to be in a weird parental role when he shouldn't be, but I think he is loving putting his input in, and being allowed to lead a little more.)
For instance, today he skinned his knee. He started out by coming to show me his injury and get some sympathy. Normally I would comfort him and then tell him to go in the bathroom so we can clean it up and get a bandaid. Then he would get a little upset and act like he was filled with dread (LOL), whining for me not to put ointment on, etc.
But I said, "Okay, honey, what should we do about this first?"
And he very happily led me through washing his hands, cleaning his booboo, putting ointment on it, etc. Then I told him he did a great job.
I mean, yeah, it's possible any kid benefits from being allowed a little independence, but in this case knowing our special dynamic it's kind of a revelation for me. Instead of trying to force him to get out the door to go to school in the morning, he is leading the way. I guess I'm just letting him supervise a little more instead of fighting the dynamic.