I hear this all the time. "I prefer to not let my child run my life." I hear that in response to my announcing that I do not allow my child to CIO, that I allow them to decide when they should wean, that I follow their cues and do not impose my ideas onto them. Yes, I do allow them to have an opinion, to decide on certain things themselves to grow as individuals. I treat my child with respect, as a separate human entity with thoughts, feelings and and a brain fully capable of thinking for itself.
Now while I believe all of this, I do realize that child isn't capable of knowing all risks involved with life, they cannot understand consequences and cannot perceive risk in the same manner as you or I can. I believe though, that it is my job to be a sort of buffer for my child and allow them to do certain things for themselves where there aren't great risks involved and only confidence boosting and feelings of security as the end result. I do however allow my child to fall sometimes, maybe it isn't a very risky or life shattering lesson, but, it is still a lesson taught and a child will be better for it.
By never allowing my child to CIO at night, I am teaching them that mommy is reliable and that it is ok sometimes to let go and explore because mom will come running if they fall. By allowing my child to self wean, I am letting them know that I trust their judgement and that they can make decisions for themselves.
I am not being RUN by my child, instead I am giving them the strength and courage to do their own thing and to not always rely on me or anyone else to do their thinking for them. I am giving them the confidence to go for their goals, to rise to the top. They won't feel they need to conform and be like everyone else. They won't grow up feeling like a worker drone. They will grow up feeling validated, feeling like they were listened to and feeling like they mattered.