Monday, December 12, 2011

Parents Must Say "No!"

Picture: http://talesfortots.wordpress.com/page/19/

I should make something clear before anyone reads the words below. I am only venting and trying to get my head around it as a mother myself. Furthermore, I am not an expert on parenting, in fact, I am still learning and will continue to learn until I am old and gray. However, one thing that I learned from my parents is the importance of placing boundaries for children, teaching them to become responsible adults who care for others and their feelings.

Therefore, sometimes it boggles my mind when parents bring up their children on the idea that they never do anything wrong. I have read so many articles online and books saying that parents MUST say NO to their children especially when they do something that either hurts themselves or others.

Saying NO at the right time, and when it is appropriate, is extremely important in teaching our children how to be centered, happy and responsible human beings. If children never hear that word NO in their childhood, they WILL soon enough when they are older. And then what would they do? They would be so surprised and overwhelmed not knowing how to react to this new word or reaction from others.

Granted that parents need to learn HOW to say NO and there are many website out there that can provide them with tips on how to address this... but the fact remains that parents must say NO to their children if other ways of explaining it to them did not work. For example, "Please try to use your Big Boy voice and tell me what you want." Instead of "Stop whining!"  However, if that did not work after the 10th time then parents must say, "No, please stop whining or I will not listen to you." If we, parents, listen to everything the children ask for, especially when they whine, we are only reinforcing the behavior that we basically did not want from the beginning.

It is the same when children hit or play tricks on one another. We must always understand that kids will be kids but we must also comprehend that both behaviors are wrong. If we ignore either behavior without addressing the hurt feelings of the kids involved then our children would learn that we are ok with it and they would do it again. We would also be teaching them to ignore their friend's hurt feelings helping our children become unsympathetic towards others. We need to teach our children empathy by saying NO and asking them to apologize for the hurt feelings they caused. It is of no benefit to our children if we believed they never did anything wrong... that they never hit other children unless they have been hit themselves or they would never play tricks on anyone unless they have been pushed to. BOTH actions are wrong whether it was instigated or retaliated.

If we ignore such behaviors, we would not only be reinforcing the bad behavior when they are little but we would need to deal with them when the children are older. Dealing with such behaviors when the kids are 15 years old would be a hand full and doubly hard. We would help to create unmanageable children and adults later on in life.


I am not sure if you all agree with me, my friends, but I would love to hear your comments.

6 comments:

db said...

Agreed, & vent away.

As a SpEd teacher you know as well, the havoc a lack of discipline and boundaries can bring to a child's life. A child needs to know what the limits are and when they have done wrong.

What's worse is when they begin to see the wrong in the parents. ;-)

Tabouleh said...

LOL... but if the begin to see that their parents do wrong and say sorry about it, then it is good I think... we are all only human... but if you meant that they would see faults in our characters and personalities... well LOL... can't escape that! ;)

ms. devi said...

Good boundaries are maybe the most important component of living a healthy, good life. I once knew a woman who felt her daughter needed to "express herself without being hindered". An unbearable child - though I hate to say that about a child - how can a parent do that to a child???
Ironically, learning boundaries, our own and those of others, is one of the ways that a child grows compassionate, grounded and a socially desireable human. You are so right, learning boundaries later in life is so so hard - to teach or to learn - and so much personal damage along the way - won't a better world start with raising our children to understand that what hurts someone else hurts us too?

Tabouleh said...

Thank you Paula... my thoughts exactly... how can parents do that to a child? Each set of parents have their own way of raising their kids... and sometimes I love learning from them... but I cannot seem to accept the idea of accepting EVERYTHING my child does. Sometimes I feel sorry for Mina and Jad because we tend to hold them accountable for their behavior and immediately have a chat with them when they are wrong or acted in a certain way that we not acceptable... but I know it is for them best...
You are so right about the last sentence... it would definitely be a better world...

jyothisethu said...

yes! you are very much correct...
the art is in 'not telling yes when a no was needed'...

Tabouleh said...

Thank you Sethu... I love how you used the word Art here.