Do I Say “No” to My Kids Too Much?

Do I Say “No” to My Kids Too Much?

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Sometimes I feel like I am handing out a “no” every time I turn around.  I often think of myself as if I’m Oprah Winfrey handing out prizes.  You get a “no!” and you also get a “no!” or everyone gets a “no!”

I do feel like I say “no” to my kids an awful lot, and I often wonder if it’s too much. Am I saying it because they really need to hear “no” as an answer, or am I saying it because it requires some type of action on my part?

Recent examples of when I had to say no:

  • 6 year old try to test the theory of “cats always land on their feet” with one of our kittens.  I had to say no, right?!
  • 2 year old colored on the leather couch with a marker.  A no-brainer!
  • 9 year old keeps asking me to buy him Madden NFL 17.  I didn’t say no right away until he asked a 3rd time.  His birthday is in a few weeks so I told him to be patient and that he might get it then.
  • 8 year-old daughter wanted to take a cold McDonald’s hamburger to school for lunch even though I said she wouldn’t like eating it cold.  (She did it anyway)

Do I Say “No” to My Kids Too Much?

All parents have to say “no” to their kids at one time or another, and sometimes it seems like we never say “yes” to them. But, kids do need to know boundaries, and that means telling them “no” to uphold those boundaries. If we know what they are asking for puts them in physical, spiritual, or emotional harm, we have to say “no” to protect them.

I really don’t want my kids to remember their childhood as the time period where daddy always said “no” to things.  Rather than looking for things to say “no” to, I’m trying to find ways to say “yes.” It’s not easy, but trying to find alternatives to what they are asking for is possible, and could make a big difference in their lives.  Just because what they may be asking us may be impossible, too expensive, or unsafe, there could be other ways to let them get as close to what they are asking for without fully giving in.

If I don’t say “no” enough, does this mean I’m spoiling my kids too much?  Sometimes I do think they get more than what they probably should, but on the other hand they do have limits we hand down to them. I’m sure I gave my parents the same amount of pressure to give me everything I wanted, but I got told “no” plenty of times because it wasn’t the right time, wasn’t a necessity at the time, or there were other more important things going on.

Dr. Sears has a great article with 18 strategies on how we can say “no” positively.  If you are like me and struggle with when to say “no” and how to change it into a positive form of communication, I urge you to give it a read.

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  1. That reminds me of a time a few years ago, and my daughters and I were in the electronics store with a friend. My youngest wanted to buy something, something that she HAD to have. My friend was surprised how i handled the situation without once saying no. Me: How much does it cost? Her: $25. Me: Is it worth the $25 dollars? Her: YESSS, everyone has it! ME: Who is going to pay for it? Because it is not worth $25 to me. My youngest looked at me, didn’t say anything, turned around and put it back on the shelf.

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