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 is that they have a hard time, or are simply unwilling, to tell their children no.
There is a generation of kids who are not used to being told no, or being denied much of anything 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.
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. (Proverbs 29:15, 17)
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 afraid to tell them no.
Here are five reasons why you might be struggling to tell your kids no:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 the parent they deserve by correcting them when necessary, the sooner they will “give thee rest; yea, and give delight unto thy soul” as the verse above states.