Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just say "No"

Posted by Tracy Wainwright at 1:43 PM
Most of us moms remember this anti-drug campaign. I think it's safe to say that it's impact on youth was minimal. Yet, I think it's usefulness in parenting is unlimited.

One of the things I've observed as both a mom and a family counselor is that saying "no" to children is one of the most difficult things for parents to do. Even I (who've been called a real hard-nosed parent) have a hard time occasionally. Why is that?

I think it's because we love our children, want the best for them and want them to be happy. The problem comes in when what they believe will make them happy is not the thing that is best for them. One example of this is letting them eat what they want. They believe that eating sweets all the time, or before meals is what will make them happy. But we know it's not best for them. Another example is letting them hang out with friends of drastically different value systems. They may genuinely love these friends, but their influence may be devastating to our child's decision-making.

The problem and process of saying "no" starts in toddlerhood and doesn't end until --- well, sometimes ever. The problem is that it often hurts us as moms - and causes us to have to give up something - to say "no." We know we'll have to deal with the whining, fussing, and arguing. We don't want to deal with it. The process of saying "no" is knowing what to say it to and being able to back it up. The first part, we can only make the decision personally. What is important enough/necessary to say "no" to. The second part is ultra-important. If you're not going to back it up, don't even think about saying "no."

I've had my share of whininess, fussiness, and arguing. I have one child who screams at the top of her lungs when I say "no" to the 'wrong thing.' But, I've learned, if I simply hand on (sometimes 3 minutes, sometimes 30), it will pass and things will be all right again. I've also learned to discipline the whininess, fussiness, and arguing in and of themselves. If you're doing that when I tell you "no", you're not respecting me nor being obedient, and that's a punishable offence.

It hurts to take away priviledges from our children. It hurts to enforce negative consequences and see them upset. But, the natural consequences of their disobeying become much more dangerous as they get older. So, I'll stick with saying "no" when necessary - and praying for guidance on when to.

0 comments on "Just say "No""

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Just say "No"

Most of us moms remember this anti-drug campaign. I think it's safe to say that it's impact on youth was minimal. Yet, I think it's usefulness in parenting is unlimited.

One of the things I've observed as both a mom and a family counselor is that saying "no" to children is one of the most difficult things for parents to do. Even I (who've been called a real hard-nosed parent) have a hard time occasionally. Why is that?

I think it's because we love our children, want the best for them and want them to be happy. The problem comes in when what they believe will make them happy is not the thing that is best for them. One example of this is letting them eat what they want. They believe that eating sweets all the time, or before meals is what will make them happy. But we know it's not best for them. Another example is letting them hang out with friends of drastically different value systems. They may genuinely love these friends, but their influence may be devastating to our child's decision-making.

The problem and process of saying "no" starts in toddlerhood and doesn't end until --- well, sometimes ever. The problem is that it often hurts us as moms - and causes us to have to give up something - to say "no." We know we'll have to deal with the whining, fussing, and arguing. We don't want to deal with it. The process of saying "no" is knowing what to say it to and being able to back it up. The first part, we can only make the decision personally. What is important enough/necessary to say "no" to. The second part is ultra-important. If you're not going to back it up, don't even think about saying "no."

I've had my share of whininess, fussiness, and arguing. I have one child who screams at the top of her lungs when I say "no" to the 'wrong thing.' But, I've learned, if I simply hand on (sometimes 3 minutes, sometimes 30), it will pass and things will be all right again. I've also learned to discipline the whininess, fussiness, and arguing in and of themselves. If you're doing that when I tell you "no", you're not respecting me nor being obedient, and that's a punishable offence.

It hurts to take away priviledges from our children. It hurts to enforce negative consequences and see them upset. But, the natural consequences of their disobeying become much more dangerous as they get older. So, I'll stick with saying "no" when necessary - and praying for guidance on when to.

0 comments:

 

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