Why it’s ok to say no to your kids
Now this may sound odd, but here it is. It’s not only ok to say “no” to your kids, it’s actually a valuable teaching tool.
It’s not surprising, really. Everyone is tired/busy/guilty/time-stressed and saying “yes” instead of “no” seems like the path of least resistance. But instead of empowering children, you are actually creating a false sense of what real life is all about.
Remember your job
As parents, it is your job to clothe, feed and nurture your kids. It’s also your number one job to teach them how to be responsible, compassionate, adults, during the myriad of teachable moments that appear along the way. This extends to money, work and relationships.
Patience is a virtue
It’s not uncommon for kids to want, want, want every time they go in a store, see something on TV, or covets their BFFs new clothes or gadgets. However, if you indulge those whims more often than not, you are creating an expectation for instant gratification.
As kids get older, this will translate into “buy-now, pay later”, rather than engaging in a saving and spending cycle. Help them start the credit vs. cash battle on the right side by learning to wait for things.
You don’t always get what you want
So (and remember this part) you are the boss. Your child is not. There will be times in your child’s life when their actual boss is going to say things that they may view as unfair.
They are far better off if they know how to deal with a momentary disappointment in the face of a longer term strategy, rather than view disappointment as a crisis.
Learn to choose
Instead of letting your child have it all every time they ask for something, bring it down to choice. As in “This week you’ve asked for X, Y and Z. Pick one.”
This teaches a sense of how to evaluate and how to avoid buyer’s remorse, which in adults can create more spending, or wasted money.
Pay your own way
You can always try the- you want it, you buy it yourself ploy. Whether it means getting a job, cutting the grass or chipping in birthday money, it lets kids attach value to items.