As a father of 6, the one thing that I would add to the conversation is that every child is an individual and each is ‘wired’ slightly differently. There is no single strategy that works so all suggestions from people who are actually parents should be considered. What I would say is that there has to be a balance of control and freedom for each child. Where that balance is drawn will depend upon the child but both are, to a degree, important. I am not sure from the brief narrative how good you are at exerting control (you indicate that those that know you say you don’t say no often enough); but if the view is that you don’t say no, then it is also likely that if you do sometimes say no, the no has no consequences for being ignored. Being a parent isn’t the same as being a friend. Your JOB is to set boundaries and assert your authority to affirm them. But this must be balanced with Freedom. Whether this is just to run free in the park (something you admit to finding difficult) or as I suspect more relevant with your little action man, channeling that energy into something at every available opportunity (i like the sound of ice hockey!).
You have to provide freedom within the framework - occasionally the kid will get hurt -its the best way to learn - but you have a bundle of energy that needs to be released within reasonable boundaries established by you. But he is only 2. So the onus is on you to provide both the opportunities and the (sanction backed) boundaries
How many parents are told this by the local gym instructor, tennis or swim team coach? ..and how many parents buy into the dream, so that their children spend every waking hour at the gym/tennis court/swimming pool in pursuit of glory? The more kids do it, the more coaches get paid. Its a simple equation and one which we should bear in mind when we are told that our little darlings are going to be the next Mark Spitz, Andre Aggasi or Olga Korbet (remember her?).
Of course there has to be one superstar in every generation, and it may just be that your child is it - but before you spend your hard earned money and commit your child to a life of training, training and more training, just remember that we only have one childhood and unless your child is heading global competitions at the age of 11, it maybe worth letting them enjoy theirs.
Taken: The coolest threat ever spoken in a movie? But what do you do if your not Liam Neeson? Lost-Kidz