Saying No: One of the Hardest Parts of Parenting

It is raining outside today, and I know that my youngest will come down with a cold and the sniffles that will turn into an ear infection or worse if I allow him outside to play in the damp air. I have been dreading the moment he gets off the school bus; however, because I know that a war is about to ensue when he asks to go outside.

Him:  “Mom, can I go outside and play?”

Me:  “No, it is raining off and on and it is damp outside. You need to work on your homework and play inside today.”

Him:  “It’s not raining! It’s just drizzling! I just want to walk to Steven’s house and play at his house!”

Me:  “If you want to continue to argue the fact with me then you can stay in the house for another two days on punishment as well.”

Him:  “I hate my life! All because of my stupid parents I’m not going to have any friends at all anymore! Steven just checked and it isn’t raining at all right now! Pleeeeeaaase mom?”

Me:  “No, neither you nor your brother are going outside today. It is supposed to rain off and on all day, it is damp and wet outside and I don’t want you catching pneumonia like your father. You can hate me all you want, but I’m saying no because I love you.”

Him:  Crying and mumbling under his breath, “There! I’m done with my homework!” and slams it down on the table and then throws himself across the bed.

So now the teenager is home, and we have gone through the same scenario with him as well. “I’m going to be inside mom, why are you so over protective?” besides, “Who wants to stay around this boring house anyway?”

Ouch. That hurt. Especially considering that they each have their own computer, television and gaming system in their rooms – when there are children out there who have none of those things at all, in their own rooms or not.

I want to crack, I want to cave, I want to give in. If I do that, however, then what does that say about my parenting skills? That I’m a pushover? That I can be manipulated? I think about a compromise – dropping them off and picking them up – but they don’t want me to do that either.

The reason we are in this position, now, is because I’ve done it before – I’ve cracked, I’ve caved, and I’ve given in to the temper tantrums and the crying and the screaming until they have gotten their way.

I’m trying to protect them – and in the grand scheme of things – isn’t that what being a parent is all about? To teach, to protect, to love?

What about you? What are some of the “saying no” moments in your life that you have experienced with your children? Leave a comment and let me know … because Lord knows this isn’t the first time, and it surely won’t be the last!!!

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