You Have To Say No To Your Kids Sometimes

by Pam on September 8, 2010

Although I am not yet a parent, I have played a role in teaching my friend’s child that he can’t have everything he wants.  Although parents want to give good things to their children, there are times when they have to say no.   It is not only beneficial in terms of staying within a budget, but it is also healthy for children to learn that they are not entitled to everything that they want.  After all, the world does not revolve around them.

Several years ago my friend and I went shopping at Safeway and she brought her then 2 year old son.   To my surprise, as we went to the check out to pay for our purchases, her little son began screaming at the top of his lungs “my doo doo, my doo doo!”  I had no idea what he wanted at first, but my friend soon filled me in.  Apparently every time she went shopping at Safeway, her son demanded her to buy him a small toy car that was visible from the check out counter and she gave in every time in order to avoid a tantrum.

I told my friend that this behavior had to stop, so I told her to go ahead and pay for her purchases and in the meantime I picked up her son and carried him out of the store kicking and screaming.  I would not let her give in to him anymore and I knew that although it would be awkward carrying him two blocks kicking and screaming, it would teach him a valuable lesson about not always getting what he wants.

And it worked.  He did kick and scream for about 20 minutes and all the while I held him.   The next time his mom took him to that same store, he never even asked for the toy car.  Thankfully, he had learned his lesson.

You may be tempted to give in to avoid a temper tantrum or an embarrassment in a store, and it may seem like the easy way out now, but in the long run you will be creating a monster.  People who always got their way as a child don’t develop healthy relationships in their adulthood because they expect everyone to cater to their every whim.   Although it won’t be easy, it’s important to learn to say no to your children from time to time.

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