It would seem that some people think that I say very mean stuffs to Z. When Z refused to cooperate and eat properly, instead of cajoling him to eat more, I would tell him:
1. That is fine. You don’t have to finish and starve to death.
2. We will not give you more food later on. This is your only chance to eat.
3. Please don’t eat because we would love to eat your share.
I applied the same concept to every other defiant act of his.
We loved him so much that we really did not want him to grow up with the sense of entitlement. There was only so much that we could explain, so I thought making him feel a little pinch would help him to understand the constraints and appreciate what he was given.
I would continue to explain the rationale to the best of my abilities. However, should he insist on being stubborn, he could not blame me for sounding mean.