What are our biggest worries regarding our kids?
A recent study of over 2,000 American adults revealed the following list:
- Childhood obesity
- Drug abuse
- Alcohol abuse
- Internet safety
- Child abuse and neglect
- Teen pregnancy
- Not enough physical activity
Very good list. Several of them are main focuses of our work at Noble Choices.
What do these worries all have in common?
The need for our children to say, “No.”
Do you teach your children to say, “no”?
Many parents actually do the opposite. They will respond to their child’s “no” with hurt, withdrawal, guilt, anger, threats, and punishment.
Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer the following examples of parents not allowing their children to say “no.”
- “Mommy needs to hold you now.”
- “How can you say ‘no’ to your parents who love you?”
- “Don’t talk back to me.”
- “Someday you’ll feel sorry for hurting your parents’ feelings like that.”
Ask your self the following:
- Do you allow your child to disagree with you?
- When your child wants distance or to play something else, do you allow it?
- If your child argues about bedtime, do you listen, consider, and even change your mind occasionally?
- Even if you enforce the bedtime, do you do it without withdrawing love?
- If your child doesn’t want to give affection, do you force it?
How can we expect our teens to say no to smoking, drugs, alcohol, pornography, or teen sex if we haven’t allowed them to say no to anything else while growing up?
However, if you teach them it is safe to say “no” and allow them to practice it, they will have ten years of practice before hitting their teen years.
Don’t be a NO NO parent. Be a KNOW NO parent.
Cloud, D. H., & Townsend, D. (1992). Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No, To Take Control of Your Life. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. (2014, August 11). School violence, gun-related injuries in top 10 child health concerns in U.S. Retrieved from National Poll on Children’s Health: http://mottnpch.org/sites/default/files/documents/081114_top10.pdf