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No! Stop It Right Now! You Cannot Do That! Why Are Parents So Afraid to Just Say "NO!"

Jul 8, 2008
Why is it that so many mothers are afraid of saying "no" to their children? Are parents today spineless weenies, raising a generation of selfish spoiled brats? Are you guilty of rewarding your children's disrespectful treatment with an unending stream of material goods and unyielding devotion?

Parenting: A Brat Today, A Social Nightmare Tomorrow?

Every parent wants their children to be happy, and I understand that. But the key here is to remember that you are your kid's parent, not their friend. You have been given the job of raising a young person into a responsible, law-abiding, positive contributor to society. You are not there to be your child's giggle buddy.

That means sometimes you are going to have to make decisions that your child won't like. You'll have to say "no!" to things that your child wants to do. You will have to say "no!" when your child wants to go places you don't approve of, wear clothes you don't approve of, or date people you don't approve of. You have to be the parent, and that means your word is law. Establish yourself as the authority in the household. Let your kids know MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY!

Just Say No and Mean It!

Parents that say "no!" then give in after the child whines and wheedles teach that your word means nothing and that with the slightest pressure, you will bend to your child's will. Giving into your spoiled child's demands, allowing yourself to be manipulated with tears, threats to run away, harsh words ("I hate you!") or other negative behavior means you are a weenie. It also means you need to grow a spine and get in the habit of telling your brat "no!"

Pleading for compliance, using bribes, negotiating, saying "please" repeatedly, or refusing to ever set limits for your child is not parenting, it's begging for cooperation from a mini-terrorist! Stand up for yourself and say "no!" and "stop!" I vote that parents say a combination of both words at least 10 times per day!

Be a parent your child respects, and raise your child to get along in the world. The world is not going to fold and bend to his or her will like you do. Police knock sense into those that forget there are rules and regulations in the world that do not apply only to OTHER people.

It's a Big World Out There!

If you make your world revolve around your child, you are doing your offspring a great disservice by creating a false reality for them. The realization that they are not at all important to anyone but you will be a surprise, and may drive disillusioned children to drugs and crime as they try to learn to wrestle with shocking failures in adulthood.

Give your child goals to accomplish and daily chores from a very young age so they learn responsibility and feel like they are contributing to your home environment. They will also learn to reach for the stars and roll with the punches if they fall a little short, while you are there to guide them back to the right path.

Establish behavioral limits, household rules and boundaries, and then stick to them without bending an inch. Make sure your children know what you expect from them, and that you make the final decisions about what goes on under your roof. Boundaries help children feel safe, because they know what to expect, what you expect of them, and what their limits are.

And if your child breaks rules or violates boundaries, drop the hamma' with a serious punishment. Do not be lenient or give in when the kids fuss about it or whine about how their friends can go/do it/wear it or how its not fair. Stand firm Mom and Dad! Do not negotiate or compromise a settlement either.

Start saying "no!" to your children, and stand by your decisions. Demand that they treat you and others with respect, and that they always honor your role as the authority in your household. Believe me, they'll thank you when they are older and see how much you cared to keep them on the straight and narrow path to self-respect, high self-esteem, and self-reliance in adulthood.
About the Author
(c) 2008 Deborrah Cooper. Deborrah has authored dozens of relationship articles and advice columns on Ask HeartBeat!, which focuses on modern relationships for teens and adults. Her dating guide Sucka Free Love! provides street-smart, hilarious insight into the toughest issues facing singles today. Check out The Sucka Free Dating Radio Talk Show on Wednesday night at 7:00 pm PST.
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