Developmental Stages And "The Power of No"

The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 1


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.



The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 12017-11-09T12:23:47-04:00

The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 2


Early Childhood Years

Just like in sports, when you know the rules and the boundaries it allows for the players to have fun and enjoy themselves.  The same can happen when our no is consistent we create an environment to be able to have fun.  If our no doesn’t always mean no, we have created an atmosphere for fighting and chaos.  There will be a constant and exhausting battle for who will have the last word, parent or child.

For example, a parent and child are out together at the movies.  When the parent gets popcorn for the family to share, the child sees the candy at the counter and asks if they can have candy as well.  The answer to their question is, “No, we are going to share the popcorn as a family.”  If a child has been trained that no means no, then this is the end of the discussion and the family can go in and enjoy the movie.  If a child has been trained that there are many different behaviors that can change my parents mind, then they will proceed in acting on these.  There may be whining, crying, and even temper tantrums.   A scene like this is exhausting and will ultimately cause the fun activity to be ruined for both parent and child.  This can be avoided if a parent is willing to always be consistent with no.  We have the freedom have fun and enjoy our kids more if they are trained to know where the boundary lines are!



The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 22017-11-09T12:24:49-04:00

The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 3


Elementary Years

The purpose behind parenting is to raise a successful, God-honoring adult.  We give our children a key to success when we are consistent with no.  We are ultimately training them how to say no.  A skill they will need for adulthood is ability to say no in the face of temptation.

One of the way’s we can be consistent with no is by utilizing the ICE plan.  The ICE plan begins to teach our children that they are responsible for their own decisions.  It allows the parent to be the giver of a reward for a good decision or the consequence for the poor decision.  The “I” in the ICE plan stands for instruction.  We need to instruct our children about our expectations for their behavior.  “C” stands for consequence.  We also need to inform our children of the consequence if their behavior doesn’t meet the expectations.  The “E” stands for exercise.  We need to step back and allow our children to make the decision.  Allowing them to make the decision is what helps them for the future.  We will not be there when they are older standing over their shoulder telling them what to do.  By utilizing this plan we are training future leaders by training our children to be good decision makers!



The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 32017-11-09T12:25:48-04:00

The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 4


Middle and High School Years

As we have discussed before there are two very important keys to discipline.  The first is consistency, which is the area that we have been focusing on all week.   The second part of discipline is equally important. We need to maintain consistency without withdrawing our relationship from our children.  When we withdraw our relationship we become part of the consequence.  It is tempting to withdraw when we take their behavior personally.  We have to keep in perspective that even if we maintain consistency in our discipline they are still children and will make mistakes.

Some of the ways we can communicate that the relationship is damaged while we are disciplining is through words we say, such as, “I don’t want to see your face for the rest of the night.” We also can communicate a relational withdraw through yelling or our body language.  It is our responsibility as adults to go and sit with our children after discipline and communicate our love.  We must mirror our Heavenly Father in this area.  His discipline is to guide and protect us but He never withdraws His comfort and love.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 42017-11-09T12:26:32-04:00

The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 5


Dealing with Adult Children

There are many reasons why it is difficult for parents to be consistent with “no”.  One reason is disagreements between spouses.  If mom and dad aren’t on the same page it makes it very difficult to be consistent with discipline.

Another reason why some parents may find it difficult is that they want to please their kids.   Every parent should have the desire to see our children happy. However, giving in to our kids when they are unhappy because they did not get their way is not setting them up for future success.

Some parents begin to second-guess themselves when there is questioning and pressure from other parents around them.  Not everyone in Christian circles will parent the same way; some will allow themselves to be more influenced by culture around them.  We need to set the standards for our children and be consistent.

There are countless more reasons why parents have difficulty making sure their no means no.   If you are struggling in this area take some time to analyze why this may be difficult for you because this is such an important area for your children’s future success.


The Stages of the Development of “The Power of No” | Part 52017-11-09T12:27:27-04:00