It seems, to me, that we, as parents, and babysitters, are setting our children up for failure when "no" isn't utilized in our children's upbringing. Life is full of "no", and saying "no" and hearing it shouldn't be a bad thing nor should it be hard. In this day-in-age we are constantly trying to find easy ways to discipline our children. But life is full of "nos"; no, I can't draw on my face, no, you can't watch that show, no, you can't afford that, no, these shoes don't fit, no brownies for breakfast (now that I'm an adult I don't tell myself no to that all the time). But telling our children no will assist them in life to come, help them in the classroom, not to mention that teachers will be able to actually teach when they don't have all the time in the world to discuss why certain behaviors are not good, and they will be able to tell themselves "no" and others "no" when necessary (unless it's brownies for breakfast). Hearing "no" from parents who love us is the perfect time to hear "no".
How many times in a day I hear no is a lot. If I hear a siren behind me for speeding isn't a yes. I don't expect a policeman to redirect my attention with an ice-cream cone while he writes me a ticket, which is a BIG no. Since my parents brought me up with the word no I don't throw myself into the steering wheel and honk my horn continually because I made a bad choice by speeding. Instead I learned from my parents that certain things just aren't allowable and there are no questions asked.Avoiding temper tantrums shouldn't be our top priority as parents and care givers to our children. Giving our children skills to cope with unpleasant situations should be our priority. How do we learn to handle no, how do we lose politely, how do we deal with siblings and sharing, how do we move through the world in a realistic way?
Strike a Balance
"Too many no’s and too many yes’s cripple a child’s self- discipline. It’s important to achieve the right blend of yes’s and no’s in a child’s environment." Dr. Sears
I'm not suggesting that we throw roadblocks into our children's lives. I'm saying, when it is appropriate children should hear "no", should not win every game, should be able to accept that they aren't the best, and that we, as caregivers, will love them through it all even when we, ourselves, may be the people saying no. Loving our children even with no is a good thing, and when "no" comes from a parent or someone they know and trust will make it so much easier for them when they go out into the world.