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Teach Them Why You Say no!!
I recently wrote a post about saying no to your kids. And I would have been shocked if someone told me, only a few years ago, that I would become a no mom that says no quickly . But I have been pondering on the importance of setting those boundaries yet again and just have one last thing to say about it and why we must teach them why you say no!!
And then I promise that I will jump off my soap box and stay off. Now I don’t know if you are familiar with Mormon Messages but I truly have a gooder for you today. If you are Christian, you totally have to watch this video!! It’s one of my girls’ favourite videos to watch and was a total aha! moment for me the other day. So go watch it and I will be right here waiting.
We Choose to Follow because of Love
Isn’t that video powerful?? And the little girl absolutely adorable?? She reminds me of my Curly Girl. But alas, I have watched this video many times on several different occasions but the words that were shared didn’t impress me as much as they did this time around. Think for a moment of the words that Carole M. Stephens shares about setting laws from God’s perspective. She shares the following, “We may feel at times that God’s laws restrict our personal freedom take from us our agency and limit our growth. But as we seek for greater understanding as we allow our Father to teach us, we will begin to see that His laws are a manifestation of His love for us and obedience to His laws is an expression of our love for Him.”
That is powerful. We choose to follow God because we choose to follow in faith and love Him. Isn’t that similar to parenting?? Isn’t that the goal that I was trying to achieve by being the yes mom all the time?! I would say yes it is!!
Why I tell my kids no!!
I don’t tell my girls no because I don’t love them or I don’t want to make them happy. I tell them no because I DO love them and I DO actually want them to be happy. Not just a fleeting moment of happy but a pure joy and that can only come as I set firm boundaries with them. So, if you have been sitting on the fence listening to me talk on and on about family laws and why they are so important this might be what you need to hear.
I know that you love your kids. It is undeniable with the amount of time you spend with them and when you aren’t with them you are spending time prepping some type of activity to do with your littles. Your family is your everything. I know that and you know that. And what I truly learned from that video was that we do need to take time to stop and teach our children why we are saying no. I am singing to the choir when I talk about already being the intentional no mom. But parenting is a time where we truly need to trust our instincts. There will be times where we can give grace or let them win the occasional battle but we cannot allow our children’s voices to become so loud that they drown out the opportunities that we can be teaching them and bringing them to higher ground.
Motherhood is also about teaching
We need to again approach motherhood from the eyes of a teacher. Many times, a teacher will stop and explain why we can’t do things a certain way or the error that will occur when we choose to proceed down the path we are going. Teachers model for their students the correct lesson or principle, explain over and over again how to do something correctly, allow the child to attempt it on their own and still are there to catch them if they stumble or fall to reteach them. And as parents we need to be the same.
I feel like sometimes it is so easy to lose our cool with our littles when we have explained over and over and over again a rule that they should be following. For us right now it is hitting or biting. Babykins will bite, push, or hit. Frustrating to say the least. It has been going on for a good month and no matter how many times we remind her that she shouldn’t do those things and being disciplined for doing it she still does it. I know and understand that it is developmentally appropriate but that is not the point right now because I definitely know that that is NOT what I am thinking when someone is in tears showing me evidence of teeth marks on their little bodies.
Teach Your Children why you say no!!
But I read this advice in a sleep book and I feel like it needs to be shared in regards to trying to enforce our family laws. Elizabeth Pantley, shared the following information in regards to teaching our children to wean off the breast when they are falling asleep. She said you gently remove them and if they fuss you gently hold their mouth shut and if they start to wake you start to breastfeed again. You repeat this over and over. Sometimes it may take a good 25 to 50 times before they understand what is expected and just unlatch roll over and fall asleep on their own. And, I feel like this rule applies to teaching our children those limits as well. It doesn’t matter the age but we must gently teach, guide, and model the appropriate response and expectation to the laws that they need to be following. We cannot just set the law and expect them to follow it because we haven’t taught them the why. And sometimes the why might just be as simple as I love you and I need you to listen. Just like little Chloe was willing to be obedient when she understood that her grandma wasn’t trying to punish her or force her to sit still but rather was trying to keep her safe and protect her. I feel like as we continue to set the course and teach despite setting firm boundaries around no that our children will come to learn that they will follow us because they love us and know that we truly do only have their best interests at heart.
Because oh puh-lease!! You’ve got this momma!!