As parents and caregivers, one thing we all have in common is the desire to see our children succeed. Sometimes this means putting their best interests forward despite some hesitation on our part. One area we tend to hesitate the most is when saying “No” to our children.What if I told you: It’s Okay To Say No To Your Kids!
That’s right! You can tell your kids “No” without causing them any harm. In fact, there are certain instances where you should be telling your children “No”. Let’s take a look at those.
It’s Okay To Say No To Your Kids
This one seems the most obvious. If our children are in danger, we should not allow them to continue the dangerous behaviour or activity. Not only should we tell them no, we should remove them from the situation and discuss why it is not safe. Children respond better when they are given a reason besides “I said so.”
When Your Children Feel Entitled
I often hear that children these days feel entitled to things. I’ve experienced it with my own children. They feel entitled to a material item, or an experience “just because”. Even denying something as simple as eating candy before dinner could elicit a whine from my kids. It is important to teach children respect and to value items and experiences. Children have to learn that they can’t always get what they want and by telling them “No” you are reinforcing this process.
Lack of Obedience
This one goes along with entitlement. If you told your child you would do something for them if they did a certain thing, but they did not follow through on their end of the bargain, then it’s okay to say no. In fact, you should say no. Children should learn to keep their end of the bargain. By giving in to their disobedience, you may be teaching them manipulative behaviors.
When it Doesn’t Fit the Budget
Parents should never okay something for their children if it is going to put them into debt. Children should learn the value of money and that not everything they want will fit the budget. It’s okay to discuss this concept with your children without going into details about the budget. It’s important for children to know that a budget exists and it must be followed.
When it Doesn’t Fit the Schedule
Some parents have gotten so caught up in letting their children do everything that they have a hard time saying no to activities that don’t fit the family’s schedule. When a child’s schedule is so full of activities, it leaves them no free time, then things have gotten out of hand. Parents should step back and re-evaluate the priorities. Parents should not have to rely on others to constantly get their children to and from different activities.
When it Doesn’t Fit your Beliefs
It’s okay to say no to your kids when the thing they are asking doesn’t fit your beliefs. This could be anything from watching an R rated movie, to wearing revealing clothing. Giving children the freedom to follow beliefs of their choosing can come across as a lack of value of those beliefs.
Remember, the important thing is finding a healthy balance. As parents, we have this special ability to know when we can say yes (ice cream for breakfast!), but don’t forget: It’s okay to say no!