Parents — Saying No to Your Kids Doesn’t Have to Bring Tears

I find myself saying no to my kids about a dozen times a day, give or take a few dozen. And each time I deliver that provocative response, I weigh it heavily on my heart. I know the significance of my intention. I must measure the meaning with utmost clarity and consciousness. Human nature drowns us in entitlement, spilling into the river of excess and gluttony, soaking us with spoiled selfishness. Parents, it’s our job to stop the waves from crashing in…

As parents, saying no can be a positive thing. No, really.

Children have a relentless yearning for more. We are all born with this elusive self-centered hunger, aren’t we? It is up to us parents to help our kids shift their perspective from the constant need for instant gratification, to a deeper understanding of self-control. We are responsible for nurturing maturity in our children through the process of saying “no”.

I believe this is one of the hardest lessons in life because it is ongoing in our own lives as well. Even as adults, we often struggle with the unequivocal ‘no’, don’t we?

And so it goes…

Along the path of parenting, we must honor this value in every corner of our lives. We must demonstrate that more isn’t better and “no” paradoxically can often lead to more. Setting limits is imperative, in order to lead a healthy and productive life. Not having each and every opportunity or item that we desire is a reality and a good one at that! It takes great awareness, discernment and patience to choose yes or no to everything that comes our way. I believe we must practice this principle every day in our lives so that our children can see our consistent examples of accepting ‘no’.

How do you handle limitations in your life? Take a closer look, and evaluate this carefully. Do your children see your need for more? Do they watch you value “yes” more than “no”?

I believe that is the first order of business for us parents. We need to demonstrate the ability to accept and honor those things we can’t do, have, or be, with dignity and grace…

Our children’s watchful eye will take it in. And as we embark on the most difficult lesson to teach, our modeling will only stand to enhance and encourage the same in our kids.

We must raise children with the wisdom of understanding the difference between greed and need, happiness and allowance, freedom and responsibilities. Our culture dismisses such differences, so we go against the grain of many. How many of our kids’ friends have this mentality? How many of our own friends do? It’s everywhere. And if we are honest with ourselves, don’t we grapple with greed as well?

Too many children associate more with happiness and design a conditional attachment to getting what they want…

“If I don’t get this, then you don’t love me.”

It is our job to change that perspective and teach them what love truly is about…and quite frankly, what life is really all about.

Christine Carter
Christine Carter
Christine Carter is a SAHM of two pretty amazing kids. She has been writing at for six years, where she hopes to encourage mothers everywhere through her humor, inspiration and faith. You can also find her work on For Every Mom, Blunt Moms, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Mamapedia, Her View From Home, Huffington Post, MomBabble, and Scary Mommy. She is the author of "Help and Hope While You're Healing: A woman's guide toward wellness while recovering from injury, surgery, or illness." You can follow Christine on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and Pinterest.

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