It is important that we tell our children – no.
It isn’t always easy. It definitely isn’t fun. But it is necessary for my sanity, my bank account and most importantly my children’s emotional health.
Our children have plenty. And if you look around – you’ll see that many children today aren’t working for what they have and even more that lack a general appreciation for what they have. The reality is that the odds are stacked against a child that goes through life never wanting for anything or having to deal with the emotions associated with denial and disappointment. As this type of child grows into an adult, they are almost guaranteed to encounter issues around self-esteem, depression and anger as they try and navigate a world which has no interest in accommodating their every want and need.
It is crucial that children encounter denial and the emotion of disappointment on a frequent basis. This is especially important to do this when they are young (although you can start anytime) and the things to which you are saying “no” to are small and insignificant. It is during this time you have the opportunity to help your child experience disappointment in a safe, nurturing environment while you teach them appropriate responses and behaviors associated with this emotion.
As your child grows and the things to which you need to say “no” to are more significant, your child should respond in an appropriate manner. What is perhaps even more rewarding is that when you do say “yes”, your child may actually feel genuine gratitude and perhaps even joy as a result of your generous accommodation of their request.
We are accomplishing a number of things by denying her request.
• We are giving them the opportunity to be disappointed.
• We have an opportunity to teach them the appropriate response to being told “no”.
• It allows them to come to terms and to cope with this denial.
• It teaches them that simply because they want something, does not mean they will get it.
• It teaches them patience. (good things come to those who wait)
• It allows us to set expectations and criteria which need to be met before we will even consider offering them what they want.
• It provides us the opportunity to teach a lesson about gratitude.
• It teaches them about self-respect and bolsters their self-esteem.
It is simply common sense. Giving children everything they want does absolutely nothing to prepare them for their lives as adults. Life is about earning your way not about having everything handed to you
Be Strong. Act Like Men.