• Laurel A. Rockefeller

Repost: The Positive Power of “No.”

Parenting.  It’s one of those topics that I as a spinster without children generally enjoy reading about but do not feel qualified to talk about, despite my bachelor of arts in psychology.  It’s part of the human experience that really cannot be fully understood except through direct experience, an experience I might eventually take on — but not until or unless I am in a healthy, loving, committed relationship.

This established I found a most fascinating article about the topic of “no” in parenting and how/why so many parents are reluctant to say no and enforce it with their children.  What is truly interesting to me is the way that children really DO need to hear “no” in order to develop properly. Failure to say no and enforce it is truly detrimental to children growing into mature, empathetic, kind, and ethical adults.

One of my favourite pieces of advice from this article is the following:

As we deliver those “no’s” to our children, remember they must be given in the spirit of compassion AND with leadership in order to foster resiliency and positive development. If parents are harsh in the delivery of a “no” it can land them back in the passenger seat while children take over the wheel. To be truly in charge we must be both firm AND kind.

We must remember that the point of saying no is to guide our children, not to control them or break their spirits.  Given from a place of love, “no” is one of the most important tools we can teach children — as parents, as educators, and as friends.

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