It has been a while since I wrote a good rant.
Long overdue, really.
My particular bug bear for today is the difficulty adults seem to have with children saying, "No".
Granted, when my son, deeply engrossed in his trains, does not want to leave the house and his older sister has a swimming lesson to attend; or one child refuses to allow another child a turn with their toy, it makes my life more difficult.
And as a society, we have become masters of convenience.
We buy pre-grated cheese, pre-made anything really.
Most of all, we all loath to feel out of control.
When a child says, "No," it is all too easy for it to become a dominance display.
When you tower over someone by three feet, you are not proving anything by squashing them.
We seem to have forgotten that home is where children grow into the adults they will become, and being able to say "No," is an incredibly important skill. One that requires practice in a safe space.
As adults, if we can not say "No," we become a sponge for the feelings of everyone around us. We stop representing ourselves, stop choosing our own path; instead, we let our lives be dictated by the needs of others, while we let our own overwhelmed and troubled hearts wither.
By crushing a child's ability to say "No," we are teaching them that they are not the narrators of their life story and that the wants and needs of others is of greater importance than their own. We steal their voice and teach them to be used by the world, not to be useful.
How many adults lives are complicated, if not damaged, by their inability to say "No," to sales pitches; hence, they bury themselves in debt? How many adults struggle to say "No," to bosses, spouses, and friends, to the point their lives become one of misery and anxiety.
Families are meant to be the safe place where our children learn to practice the life skills that keep them safe. Allowing our children to say "No," is quite possibly one of the easiest ways to empower them against future suffering.
When your child says "No," you have not failed as a parent. How you react to your child saying "No, will determine far more than anything your child says or does.