Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Saying No To Your Kids And Learning From Frustration

My two boys had been waiting to buy a board game called TEG for about two months. I told them that I would buy it for National Child's Day. So I did.

I was able to fulfill my self imposed and mandatory waiting time needed to generate, in my kids, appreciation of toys and things, also known as "we'll get it for your birthday" or "let me see if I can get it for you some other time" or the classic "we'll see...".

Don't get me wrong, many, maaaany times I said yes, and simply got what they wanted, just because I felt that they deserved it. After all, they are great kids, such good boys. Only to realize, later on, that the toy in question had been soon forgotten and left on top of a big pile of equally abandoned toys.  

Recently, on a non-working day, the four of us stayed at home and played TEG. By the way, this board game turned out to be a lot of fun and great for developing negotiating skills and learning about strategy tactics, #recommended.

While playing, both my kids had to deal with frustration and loosing. It wasn't easy but we were able to overcome it.

This got me thinking. How important it is to teach them qualities like these early in life. Saying no to them, letting them wait a reasonable amount of time for things helps them grow in many ways. I believe it can also inspire appreciation whenever good things happen, giving them a chance to be grateful, which is a win - win situation. Don't you think? (See well-being series.)

I know it would be much easier to say yes, and let them win at everything. It's less painful! 

Although this is not the easy route, for us parents, the benefits our kids can get from us saying "No", and like in this case, from occasionally loosing at a board game, are so worth it, significant, and favorable later in life. 

This is our way of contributing to the development of their capacity for resilience. I would say this is one of the most important skills a healthy adult can have. Being able to bounce back quickly from difficulties is such a treasure to acquire through out life. And the easiest part is that we can help them increase resilience by simply saying "No".

What do you think? Do you find it hard to say "No" to your kids? I do, many times, but I know I'm being a good mom whenever I say no, and then the yeses are valued by them and justified by me. How do you feel about saying no?

P.S. Parents' Happy Hour  and  Parenting Styles: A Mother Refuses to be Classified... .

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