Monday, March 19, 2012

Lisa Life Lesson ~"Just Say "No!"

Just Say "No!"

It seems the more I said "no" to my kids when they were younger, the more I was able to say "yes" as they grew up and out.  It became increasingly harder to say "no" as they entered the middle school years.  I guess because there were so many opportunities to say "no" it seemed I was saying it all the time.  "Can I go to this movie?"  "No"  "Can I go to this party?"  "No"  "Can I wear this?"  "No" "Can I ?" "Can I?" "Can I?" "No!"  Middle school years encompass many "gray area" issues when your instincts and biblical wisdom must kick in.  Recently a mom shared with me that she allowed her middle school aged son to attend a party of friends whom she knew very well and knew the parents.  She had no concerns whatsoever (outside the normal concerns of boys being boys).  When her son returned from the party she knew something had happened and gave him time to share.  He revealed to her that they had all played the "choking game."  Google it.  Not good.  So even when we finally say "Yes!" we might have wished we had said, "No!" BUT we have to say "Yes!" at some point.  

We have to remember that our kids not only need boundaries but they want boundaries.  They will never verbalize this to you so don't wait on it.  When we say "no" and explain why, we are reminding ourselves and our children that we are the parents and we are taking our job seriously.  As our children live within the boundaries we are placing around them, and earn our trust, we are able to release and broaden the boundaries.  In other words, we are able to "yes" more often.  

It's not easy being the "no" parent.  I can think of many times we said "no" and I worried that I was being too harsh or denying my children opportunities for fun.  But those "no's" quickly turned into "yes's" as they grew and matured.  We will always have boundaries in our lives.  Learning to live within boundaries with a willing spirit and heart is God's desire for His children.   

~Lisa Clark
Sky Ranch SkyMoms Parenting Mentor

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