Monday, January 16, 2012

Saying NO

My son, as an only child, often gets whatever his little heart desires.  Yes, I will admit, he is a brat, but he is still kind-hearted, and don’t we want better for our children than we had growing up?

So having said this, I am working on how to say “no” to my child more often.  Christmas was especially difficult as Santa is supposed to give them their wants and needs.  As mentioned on a previous blog post, he is teetering on being a non-believer, so my fear was that he would realize Mom and Dad couldn’t find those scented markers that he wanted (which I couldn’t by the way.  Darn those friends at school that have something that Aunt Mary bought from Maryland).

So for Christmas my son was given a game system his grandparents.  This is not where it ends.  All of a sudden there is a need for an eye (webcam), extra controller, a multitude of games, and the list goes on and on.  So, you can see, the questions of, “Mom, can I have…” immediately ramped after getting this system.  While we have caved and purchased a couple of these items, we had to draw the line somewhere.  A glowing controller?  Are you kidding me?  All we had when we were growing up was a joystick and a red fire button.  And it didn’t glow.  And it didn’t connect me to the Internet.  And if I wanted to talk to my friends while I was playing, I had to invite them over.  AND WE TOOK TURNS because we didn’t have an extra controller! Don’t get me started on the whole walking to school in the snow uphill both ways.

We get asked questions all day long.  Some of them are questions about why the sky is blue, or why was that lady so mean at the grocery store (great life lesson by the way), but the majority are questions for things.  Yes, you can have yogurt. No, you can’t have cake. No, another pair of soccer shoes won’t make you run faster.

Saying no is fun sometimes just for the heck of it. You see, since he is an only child, and a brat none-the-less, there is an expectation.  Before you go off on me saying this is totally our fault as parents, let me just say I am completely aware of this.  Working on this will only make that expectation much more realistic.

Ok, now that is out of my system, let’s get back to the fun of saying “no.”

I like to throw him off sometimes; keep the little guy on his toes.

“Mom, can I have an iPod touch?”

“Um, no.”

Here we go.  Those of you with older children already know what’s going to happen.  It begins - the eye rolling, the whining, the dead weight of feet that stomp around the house because somehow that is going to get the point across.  Just somehow knowing that I am thinking about getting him one sometime this year makes this all the more enjoyable.  At the same time, I can teach him about throwing fits, and how privileged he already is.

I want my son to have all the opportunities available to him no matter what.  This may have gotten out of hand while we were raising him, but there’s no time like the present to fix it.  I am looking into organizations that will allow him to volunteer so he can have an appreciation of his present situation.  I’m getting better at saying No.  It’s an easy word to say.  I mean come on, it’s only one syllable.

Any tips from other Moms about how you use the word No for the betterment of your child?

Janet Fragle works in customer engagement for innovative technology solutions at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano.

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