I’m a firm believer in saying “yes” to my kids whenever possible, especially when they make requests for my time and attention. However, one of the biggest struggles for many parents nowadays is that they have a hard time, or are simply unwilling, to tell their children “No.”
We have a generation of kids who are not used to being told no, or being denied much of anything that their hearts desire. Sadly, this not only has the potential to lead to a dangerous attitude of entitlement, but also to a dangerous and destructive way of life.
Proverbs 29:15&17 – The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame… Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
The Bible is clear that children need loving reproof, supervision, guidance and correction. Yet, sometimes parents seemingly get tongue-tied when it comes to restraining or reproving their own kids, and are afraid to tell them “No.”
Here are five reasons why you might be struggling to tell your kids “No”:
- You’re afraid of hurting their feelings. We know that our little angels don’t like to be told “no,” so we fear hurting their feelings, and as a result, we don’t tell them no, often when they need to hear it most.
- You’re afraid of the repercussions. You know what to expect that will follow if they don’t get their way, and so it’s so much easier to give in than to say “no” and have to stand your ground, especially when you’re in public.
- You’ve become more of a pacifier than an enforcer. You’ve found out that it’s easier to just give in to your child’s demands, rather than stirring up the pot, so that you can manage to “keep the peace.” So rather than enforcing your expectations, you’ve settled for pacifying them and their misbehavior.
- You’re not the one in the driver’s seat. You may not realize it yet, but they do. They already know that you’re not the one who’s calling the shots. They are. That’s why they’re often the ones telling you “No,” instead of the other way around.
- You’ve convinced yourself that they’re “just being kids.” They’ll grow out of it, right? They won’t always be this selfish or defiant or demanding? Well… The sooner you step in and step up to be their parent by correcting them when necessary, the sooner they will “give thee rest; yea, and give delight unto thy soul.”
I’ve said it before, but oh, how it still rings true for any parent who will heed it… Be your child’s parent now, so you can be your child’s friend forever… Too many parents choose to be more of a friend than a parent, when their kids need a parent, not a friend. Parent your kids for 18 years, and you can enjoy the fruit of their friendship for a lifetime.
A big part of being their parent now is learning how to successfully and unapologetically say “No.”
And of course, the only way to be successful with your “No” is to be prepared to stand your ground and enforce it unapologetically with appropriate consequences. The worst thing a parent could possibly do is tell their children no and then fail to follow through by allowing their child to still get their way. Parents must win those small battles now, otherwise face an even bigger fallout in the future.
Never underestimate the power of this truth… “Training up your children right in the younger years will set you up for parenting success in the older years.”
- On the flip side, do you ever find it hard to say “Yes” to your kids? Next week, I’ll share with you 5 Reasons You’re Struggling to Say YES to Your Kids. Until then, if I can help you in any way, or answer a parenting question, feel free to reach out to me and let me know.
This article originally appeared here.