The other day I saw a photo on Facebook that said, “NO is a complete sentence. It does not require justification or explanation.” The quote was meant to point out that you can say no to people or situations without having to explain yourself…but it got me thinking about my kids.
How often do we tell our kids NO? Yeah, we might say the word often but do we mean it? Can we be manipulated by our kids into eventually giving them what they want? Some of you will say absolutely not! When I say no it’s for a good reason and my kids know that I mean what I say. For others of us, it might not be that simple.
I know for me, sometimes it’s really hard to follow through. It’s sometimes just easier to give into the whining or questions of “but WHY?”. So I try to be more conscious about only saying no when it’s something worth standing up for, and letting go of the little things. (Because if your kids know they can get what they want with a little persistence 9 out 10 times, your job just got a lot harder!)
Here are some GOOD reasons to say NO to our kids:
1. If we let our kids do and have everything they “want” we are giving them a sense of entitlement. The definition of entitlement is: the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. The older our kids get the more this becomes a problem. The reality is that in the adult world we work for what we have and make decisions based on our finances and means.
2. Finances. The little things (like letting them have ice cream before they’ve eaten their dinner) is one thing, but for the bigger things (like playing on a travel team) it could be in the best interest of the family to say no. If you aren’t comfortable with putting your family’s resources into something, it’s OK to say NO!! You can almost always find less expensive alternatives and if your child isn’t happy about it, that’s OK too. Sometimes we have to prioritize and ultimately you are teaching them a life lesson.If you are uncomfortable putting your family's resources into something, it's OK to say NO!! Click To Tweet
3. It’s OK to protect your kids. Don’t ever let the pressures of “what everyone else” is doing have an impact on how you raise your kids. You know what’s best for them, so listen to the voice in your head when you feel the tug to say no. (I think this really applies when our kids are older!)It's OK to protect your kids!! Click To Tweet
4. Life is just too busy and time is too precious. Not allowing our kids to take on too much is often for their own good. They are young and feel like they can do it all…until they can’t. Over committing will put pressure on them and make your life more hectic.
I love this quote from Lysa TerKerst:
Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn-out woman.