An extremely rare word found in the vocabulary of today’s parents is “No”. This two letter word has been used extensively by us in our lives, however it seems to be disappearing while we raise our kids.
Some parents give in to avoid a conflict, others feel just too guilty in disappointing their little ones. It amazes me how we are raising a generation who isn’t use to hearing a “NO”.
Isn’t that the reason why our kids are becoming aggressive, show tantrums at a drop of a hat & don’t know how to behave when out with friends, shopping or at restaurants.
Just the other day my mother and me were sitting at a restaurant for dinner. On the other table came a couple with a three year old boy. As soon as the trio were settled on their table the little fellow started exploring the table. I guess the boy imagined the cutlery to be weapons of mass destruction as he started aiming the waiters with it. The parent’s however kept chatting and kept acknowledging the battle scene with a smile. I was surprised that the parents never got upset or said the word “No” to the kid. The kid however seemed to get bolder and bolder as he spilled water on the ground & then mopped the floor with the nicely ironed white cloth napkin kept on the table.
I was simply shocked by this behavior. I wasn’t shocked with the kid’s behavior but what amazed me was how parents were behaving to this misbehavior of the innocent kid. I overheard the parent saying “sorry” to the restaurant staff while leaving and justifying the little fellows behavior by saying, “Actually he’s our only child, so a bit pampered”. I felt like telling the parents that in the present generation of nuclear families & thank god for family planning, generally everyone has one child. So how could that justify the child’s hooliganism.
Instead of saying that “Sorry” it was more important to say “No” to the child when he was displaying inappropriate behavior. Saying no is an important responsibility of a parent.
Hearing the word “NO” for the child at times is important.
Saying no to your child helps with setting boundaries and limits, which would aid in their development, emotionally, physically and mentally. The problem is that sometimes we just see the short term gratification of the child. We want to avoid unpleasant episodes, and want them to be happy NOW, so we say YES to everything, and in the process spoil them in the long term.
While saying NO once in a while is a good thing for your kid, it doesn’t mean that you have to say no all the time.
There is no set formula to the ratios of your “Yes” and “No”, however it’s just about you being fair and reasonable with your kid.
And it’s you who is going to decide everyday about what is reasonable, about where to draw the line, where to set the limits.
It’s not easy & there are no set manual available when and how to say “NO”!
In the beginning expect lots of tantrum throwing, lots of crying when you say “No”. This is the real test of courage for the parents; whether you have the discipline and will power to stick to what you want to achieve.
You need to be strong. Giving in to their tantrum will just encourage child to do it again. They know our weak spots. Kids are extremely smart and it takes no time for them to realize that sometimes you give in if they’re loud, or if they cry, or if they embarrass you in front of others.
Just don’t give in, be fair but firm. After a few times, kids realise that no tantrums will not change your mind about what is reasonable and fair. They will then learn to regulate their own emotional reaction to the “No” and over time learn how to handle it.
It’s hard, but who said Parenting is an easy job!!