The Gift of NO!
NO. It is a two letter word that carries significant power. It is a word that we have heard uttered in the aisles of grocery stores only to see toddlers and infants immediately respond with tantrums to the sound of "NO". Our nature as humans wants to hear "yes" as a precursor to the fulfillment of our desires and immediate gratification. Children all over the world have been conditioned to believe that when someone says "NO" they don't love them and are simply holding out on what is best for them.
The reality is that the word "NO" many times is the most loving thing one can hear. It certainly may not feel like it in the moment, however, a momentary "NO" answer can unlock a world of "yes" opportunities in the future. Healthy boundaries and communication around them teach children the power of delayed gratification. The old adage "good things come to those who wait" is very true and that is why it has stood the test of time. It's truth. In the waiting of life, children build character and learn the power of prioritization and the selflessness of sacrifice. When children have to wait on things, they quickly learn that possessions do not determine their happiness and instead it is an internal state of being.
Here is another tip. As parents, it is easy to rest on the answer "No, we can't" when our kids ask for something. If a child says, "Dad, can I have a pair of $2,479.00 Air Yeezy Sneakers for Christmas?" it's easy to say "No, we can't. We have not budgeted over $2,000 for one pair shoes!" The harder response to our children's requests is "No, we won't". The response of "No, we won't" requires parents to dig deep and take the time to have conversations with their children. It requires us as parents to be transparent and take the time to walk our kids through what our finances may be, what priorities are and why we "won't do that". The response of, "Yes, I can buy that for you, but I choose not to" requires us as parents to think with preparation, speak with intentionality and be secure in who we are.
Sometimes saying "NO" can be the biggest future "YES" we can give to the character development of our children. "Just say NO!"