No, no, no, no… it seems like as Mr. Jace grows closer to the age of two this is all we say to him on repeat some days. No, Jace don’t touch that. No, Jace don’t run away. No, no, no, no. Any other mama’s with me on this one?
On the days where the “no” soundtrack is on repeat it not only gets really draining for Rob and I but I am sure it gets draining for Jace as well. However, I try to remind myself that, as draining as it can be, the word “no” is going to teach him a lot of things that will carry him through life. The decisions we, as parents, make when our littles are young will carry through to their elementary years, pre-teen years, teenage years, and even adulthood.
Using the word “no” creates boundaries for our children and teaches them how to handle certain situations that they will be faced with for the rest of their lives. In the world we live in you most definitely are not going to get away with everything in your adult years; I mean there may be some one you can think of that seems like they get away with everything, but in reality we all have our challenges and how we handle those challenges is impacted by how we were taught to by our parents in our earlier years. In order for the day to come where no does not need to be repeated a million times a day, our children need to learn the boundaries, and, unfortunately, sometimes this can be a very long process.
No can also teach our children various lessons that will be useful to them later in life – dealing with struggles in school or sports, or even as they get older in the working environment.
They will learn to delay their “wants” and focus on their “needs”.
Growing up you may remember your parents saying “That toy is not something you need; it is a want.” or something along those lines. Our children don’t realize the difference between a want and a need, and this is something that needs to be taught to them but isn’t something you can easily explain to them. It is one of those lessons that is going to be a long process and will continue through the years that they mature into adults.
If we as parents don’t use the word “no” it is going to be hard for our children to learn the difference between a want and a need. This is a very important lesson because if they do not learn this they also won’t learn the importance of gratitude – it is kind of like a chain reaction. If you look up the definition of gratitude it says:
“The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”
Now, I don’t know about you but this is definitely something I want my children to learn and know really well. Being thankful for everything you have, showing appreciation, and returning the kindness are things that will take our children to great places in life, as opposed to them being ungrateful and entitled. I want Jace to grow up appreciating the things he owns, the people he has in his life, and appreciating his life in general.
They will learn to tolerate disappointment.
Disappointment is something you face head on multiple times a day, no matter what age you are. When Jace wants a toy at the store but doesn’t get it, he faces disappointment; when a teenager is not aloud to go to a party on the weekend before exams, they face disappointment; when us adults have to stay at work on a nice sunny day, we face disappointment. As we grow up we don’t notice as much when we are disappointed because it honestly becomes apart of our daily lives, but how we tolerate disappointment is a whole other story.
Now, when Jace doesn’t get a toy he wants in the store and gets disappointed he will cry and possibly throw a tantrum, depending on his mood. There are most definitely days where I want to give in and just get him the toy because I really do not want to deal with the tantrum after a rough day in the office, but if you give in they don’t learn the proper way to handle the disappointment. They will learn that if they throw that tantrum because they want that toy they will get that toy. If we threw a tantrum because we didn’t get to go home from work on a nice sunny day I am pretty sure most bosses would fire you then you would have a whole other level of disappointment to deal with. Disappointment is something our children need to learn to handle, and saying “no” and sticking to our “no’s” will help them learn to properly handle that disappointment… with time.
And finally, they will learn to tolerate frustration.
Frustration and disappointment often come hand-in-hand for a lot of situations, especially for our littles. When they are young they don’t know the difference between feeling frustrated and/or disappointed, and, again, it is our job to teach them that. In order for them to learn the feeling of frustration and to know the difference, they will need to feel frustrated.
I hate seeing Mr. Jace frustrated because I would love to keep him happy all the time and give him everything he wants, but that is not reality. Everyone deals with frustration and it is very important to learn to handle that frustration properly and by saying “no” to our children we will get the chance, or multiple chances, to teach them how to handle said frustration.
Now, I don’t know about you but as I said before the word “no” gets really exhausting, so I am sure you are thinking what are some other ways I can say “no”?
Instead of tiring yourself and your children out there are some other ways you can use “no” without actually saying “no”.
My favourite that I use a lot with Jace is giving him a different alternative. So, for example, we do not let Jace play with our cell phones because we are not overly fond of him being so attached to technology at such a young age. However, since we always have our cell phones on us he often wants it or takes it if it is sitting on the couch. So, we gave him an alternative. Robert had one of his old flip phones in our garage and gave it to Jace as a toy. Jace was trying to grab my cell phone off the couch the other day so I grabbed his hand and said “Jace, how about we go find your cell phone and you can pretend to call Grandpa?” Then he got SO excited and went to grab his cell phone from his room and completely forgot about the whole idea of having of mine. This is just a recent example, but we use this method of “no” in many different scenarios.
Another method Robert and I use will be by actually saying “yes” with an explanation. For example, Jace often comes home at the end of the day and wants to eat snacks or have a treat but we do not want him filling himself up before dinner. In this situation we often will say “Yes, Jace you can have your fishy crackers after dinner but right now we are going to sit in your big boy chair and eat some yummy dinner.” Now, of course on the bad days it doesn’t matter how you say it, no is no, and our littles will throw a fit anyways but sometimes it just takes a bit of patience with an explanation of why we are not letting them have that specific thing or do that specific thing.
How do you think saying “no” benefits your child? What different methods of “no” do you use? I would love to hear from you mamas and get your feedback. Make sure you comment, send me a message through the “contact me” page, or check out my Instagram “adventuresofthegroots” and personal message me there. Make sure you share, share, share to any other mamas you know who may like to read this or may have some feedback!
Stay tuned for some more struggles, chaos & fun from this Mediocre Mommy! ❤