When the Answer is “No”Not long ago, my daughter asked about having a sleepover. Even though she’d recently had one as part of her birthday celebration, she wanted to have her friends visit again.
Ordinarily, I would have had no problem with that. She does well academically and in her extracurricular activities at school. However, I’d been observing that she had become a bit lax in some of her responsibilities at home.
I told her that this time, we would pass on the sleepover. Of course, she was disappointed. She asked if she’d done anything wrong. I simply said that I found myself growing weary of repeating myself about things she knows she’s supposed to do at home. Though she felt sad, she did understand.
I explained to both her and my son that part of my job is to rear them to be responsible citizens when they grow up, God willing. Though I want them to have fun experiences, their responsibilities come first before entertainment. I am happy to accommodate their social calendars as best I can but made it clear to them that I am not required to do so.
In talking with my daughter, I put the ball in her court. I asked if there was something I said about what she’d been neglecting that was untrue. She replied there was not. I told her that I’m looking to see consistency in what she does at home, not just doing things until she gets what she wants. She understood.
I shared that part of loving her and my son is discipline and that if I didn’t love them, I wouldn’t care what they did or didn’t do. My son chimed in and said, “We’d be spoiled brats! I hate to see people (who behave) like that!” Well, I think he got it!
Sometimes, it may be hard to decline a request when we look into their beautiful faces; yet as parents, we would be doing them a disservice by always consenting. Would we really be preparing them for life, if the answer were affirmative every time they asked for something? In my humble opinion, absolutely not!
We will be held accountable for the children God has entrusted to us. May we, as parents, seek His wisdom on when to say “yes”, as well as when to say “no”.
(This article was shared with my daughter’s awareness.)
Author, H.E.A.L.T.H.: It’s Not Rocket Science (My Journey to a Healthier Me)
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