Whatever Happened to the Word No?


Oct 30, 2000




I wish I could package up a bundle of the word NO to hand out to this generation of parents. They seem to have lost the word somewhere along the line. Granted, I used the word more often than I should have as our children grew up. But there has to be a happy medium.

Some parents seem almost afraid of their children. Their family is run by the youngsters who seem to want their own way all the time. When their children are in public, their parenting skills are on display for all to see, and many are embarrassed. Then it is too late to push the panic button.

Children need guidelines. They are often asking for them when they try to push their parents' buttons. They need limits in order to feel secure.
When they go beyond normal limits, children really get frightened because they do not know if they are capable of being in control.

You cannot be one type of disciplinarian one day and a different one another. It might be good to have a plan with your spouse to decide just what is acceptable and what is not acceptable behavior from your child. There should be steps taken before the situation gets out of hand. You should agree so that one parent is not played against the other. Children are masters at reading their parents.

Consequences are not punishments. The child chose to behave that way so should expect what comes next. This might be a time out, being removed from the room, losing tv privileges, no treats when they are usually given, and there should be positive reinforcements when behaviors are met.
The more you notice good behaviors, the better. It is better to be a positive parent than always negative.

Let your child know how much you love them. You are also being loving by
teaching them self-control. Being overtired or in a very confined adult setting such as in church may be reasons for children acting up. In this
case, try to see the situation from the child's point of view and do not
push them beyond their limits.

The word discipline is not a dirty word. The dictionary states that it is controlled behavior resulting from training designed to produce an improvement in that behavior. It is not meant to be confining but to free the child who now knows what is expected of him and consequences if he does not meet these expectations.

Consequences should not be mean spirited or physically or emotionally harmful. The problem is that parents think the child will be scarred for life if he hears the word no and is kept from doing whatever he feels like doing no matter how it effects his surroundings. Well behaved children feel accepted and cared for. Uncontrolled children are insecure and unpleasant to be around.

The words "But I want to" echo in my head after being with such children.
"I don't like you," also seems to be words parents do not want to deal with for they think the child really means it. What he is saying is that he does not like being told how to behave, not that he dislikes the adult.
I worry about what these children will be like as teenagers and even worse, adults. Can you imagine how long they will keep a job if they do not do what the boss expects? Life is not revolving around just that person. But then, the "If I am happy, those around me will be happy" is a whole other editorial. Let's help these children before it is too late.


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