We don’t have to convince our kids that we have valid reasons for saying NO. It’s ok to “Just say no.”
Recent text stream between mom and 14 year old son:
Kid: Can I go to chad’s after school
Mom: Insufficient grades, make up work to do. Application to complete. Oh, and sick and supposed to be resting! No.
Kid: Ok, I have some of the better grades and u sent me to school because I was good enough. So….
Mom: Discussion is over. Love ya too much to argue.
An adolescent is never going to agree with mom’s reasons for saying “no” to going to his friend’s house.
Never. Any answer she comes up with, he’ll have a come back until they are escalated and hurting their relationship. As a mom, it’s hard to be the “meany” and say no because he’s going to be distant and annoyed. She hates that feeling. But if mom argues and gets heated, she will probably say things she’ll regret because he is such a pusher and negotiator. Then the teen gets to focus on how annoying and mean she is. Letting him just sit with the discomfort of “no” maintains her authority. There is no dignity in fighting with one’s child, is there?
And the truth is, she really does love him too much to argue.
Kerry Stutzman, MSW
©2013 Kerry Stutzman, Head & Heart Parents
As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.