The Stages of the Development of “The Power of Saying No” – Part 1
When playing a sport like basketball or football for example, it is important to know the boundary lines. If these lines are not clearly defined before the game begins then it becomes very easy for the players to argue among themselves if the ball was truly out of bounds or not. If this happens, the game is no longer easy for any of the players to understand much less enjoy. It is the same confusion our children experience when our “no” doesn’t always mean “no”.
If we are not consistent with our children when we use the word “no”, it is very hard for them to know the boundary lines. For some parents, a no can mean that the child is allowed to argue and complain, while for others the word “no” can simply be the first step in a long whining session attempting to get us to feel bad and change our mind. Some children have been taught that a temper tantrum will work to change their parents mind because their parents are embarrassed or overwhelmed by their behavior and give in to their desires. Other children have been trained that if one parent says no they can get the other one to say yes and cause an argument. It is extremely important for our children’s future success that our no means no. You have to have clearly defined boundaries before the game in order for it to be successful. Take some time to evaluate your consistency with no as we talk more about this through the week.