Its hard to make kids do things they don’t wanna do. This is 90% of the reason most kids quit piano, karate, chores, etc.. Kids have a way of wearing us down. They got nothing but time and energy and they are willing to remind you every 5 minutes what they prefer. Some of that is ok, I think its important to protect children’s autonomy as much as possible. The goal is to make a functioning thinking empathetic person.
But you/me/we owe kids discipline. We owe them consequences for bad choices. We owe them rewards for good choices. We owe them a constant teaching environment where they understand how to get what they want. We owe them moments of discomfort in the service of a greater good. We owe them empathy when they fail and praise when they do well. We owe them expectations that are clearly communicated and backed up.
The world is an unstable place. But our stability and consistency can seep into their brain and heart and help them self regulate and impose their fledgling will on their environment.
I was the kind of kid that grew up (at times) with a lack of expectations. Very little was expected of me. It did not help me and in fact I had to play catch up to learn how to achieve. I’m thankful for the times my parents guided me. And now as a man I see proper guidance as one of the purest forms of love.
Your expectations for your child will one day be their expectations for themselves.