I imagined myself as kind of a "team leader" when it came to my three children. I was the one who set the rules and the overall "agenda"; and I established a kind of "take-it-for-granted" thing that meant they just sort of saw me as that "team leader". I wasn't just a "team leader" though. I was also the one they knew would protect them and do what I could to help them deal with, or put into perspective, any problems/sadness that arose.
THEN, though, how I interacted with them, and saw them, was with the same kind of respect that I expected them to show toward me. (So basically, the word "treat" is one that I don't see as "all one thing".) Besides respecting them as separate human beings from myself, I also made it a point (as a parent, aka "team leader") to let them know how absolutely valued, adored, and treasured they were. I once read that genuine and healthy love must always include both respect and admiration. I had, and showed, both of those toward my children. It's possible to do that but still be that "team leader" who establishes a basic framework of rules and how things will be done.
I didn't want my children to be "my little servants", or "trophies" or "subordinates" or "objects" or even "cutesy little dolls". I remembered how it felt to be a young children and how important it is not to feel dismissed or demeaned or disregarded as a child.