Yesterday when I arrived home from work a few minutes later than usual, the kids were carrying bowls of mac and cheese to a picnic blanket in the front yard. Gene made a lot and gave some to each of the neighbor kids as well. All of the kids seemed to be happily eating outside, Gene was happily watching a home improvement show and I was happily checking email, completely oblivious to everything around me.
I looked up and mom from next door was standing in my living room. Uh, hi. She was acting kind of embarrassed and her little girl was sobbing and clinging to her. Ugh. What did my kids do??? Turns out, the neighbor girl didn't want to eat her mac and cheese. The Ultimate Queen of Bossiness, a.k.a. Kaylin, told her "I" would be very angry if she didn't eat her food. Little Girl wasn't too concerned with that so Kaylin upped the threat to "I" would "cut her back" if she didn't eat. Grrreat. I was pretty surprised and asked "Cut your back, like with a KNIFE???" Little Girl sobbed and nodded, Neighbor Mom looked like she wished the floor would open and swallow them both.
I then had to spend several minutes trying to convince a not-quite five-year-old that I would NEVER EVER hurt her and that I most certainly would never dream of threatening her with a knife! The neighbors left for the night (which almost made the whole incident worthwhile because it was a full hour earlier than they usually go home) and now I had to deal with Kaylin. She came slinking out of her room and made a lame excuse about how I don't like wasted food.
I'm all about the psychology of laying blame on superiors to get others to do what you want. I'm talking minor stuff like while training a new person at work, emphasizing that the BOSS likes the barns to be free of cobwebs. This is certainly not a lie, but it makes a much deeper impression than trying to convince someone to spend time on extra work because "I" want it done. Kaylin has the basics down, she just needs to tweak her skills so "I" don't get a visit from Peoria's Finest.
I told Kaylin that if this situation happens again she will be deeply sorry and will suffer extreme punishment that doesn't involve knives or cutting or violence in general.