Hi Meltingpot Readers,
So, a couple of weeks ago there was an opinion piece written in the New York Times by a childless man who had some choice words for parents. Many people thought he was out of line for criticizing today’s parents for being too permissive with their children, when he’s not a father himself. Not me. I agreed with almost everything he said. Dear readers, I will be honest when I say that I am appalled more often than not by what I see as a trend of parenting where parenting has come to mean, letting your children do whatever they want. It might just be me, but it seems like today’s parents have forgotten how to use the word, no. As in:
“No, you may not just eat pasta for dinner, you have to eat vegetables too.”
“No, you may not have a cell phone, because you are only eight years old and you don’t need a cell phone.”
“No, you may not watch that movie because it is rated R and is inappropriate for someone your age.”
“No, you may not wear shorts/that mini skirt to school because it is too cold/your butt cheeks are showing.”
Me personally? I have a tween who is entering his rebellion phase and a toddler entering her tantrum phase, so no is the most popular word in the house right now. I use the word no at least 10 times a day. In English and Spanish! My son rolls his eyes at me when I make him take his shorts off in the middle of winter. My daughter flings herself on the floor when I take the permanent marker out of her hand. But guess what? It’s easier to say no now then it will be when they’re bigger and stronger and the dangers are much worse than cold knees and a ruined wall.
And at the end of the day, despite how many times I say no, my kids still love me. In fact, I’d dare to say they actually like me on most days. And I like them too because they are enjoyable to be around. They’re not spoiled. They’re pretty well behaved and they know that no, means no. Most of the time.
What about you dear readers? Are you afraid to say no to your kids? Why or why not? Have you even wanted to help a fellow parent learn the beauty of the word no? What happened? I’m listening.
P.S. If you have an extra moment, check out HairStoryonline today for an awesome interview with a female photographer who has created an exhibit on the refutation of good hair.