A "No" Now Helps Them Know How to Handle Disappointment Down the Road

...to handle disappointment down the road.

...to handle disappointment down the road.

A gentleman by the name of Henry Home (also known as Lord Kames) once said, “An infallible way to make your child miserable is to satisfy all his demands." In other words, give your children all they want and they will never be satisfied!  What an awful thought.

One of the hardest things sometimes for parents to say to their kids is “No, you cannot have that.” “No, we can’t afford that right now.” “No, I know most of your friends have those, but Daddy and I don’t want you getting one and spending all your time with your nose stuck in it.” Why? Because we know what we’re in for when we say that two letter word: begging, pleading, whining, making a scene… It is such a difficult discipline to withhold from our children their hearts’ desires, no matter how ridiculous they might be or seemingly insignificant at different ages.  But think about this: wouldn't you agree that a "No" now helps them to know how to handle disappointment down the road?  It prepares them.

It gets even harder when they ask for bigger things, especially if you’ve given in on everything up to that point.  However, they don’t always know what is good for them in the big picture, or how having something handed to them on the proverbial "silver platter" is not in their best interest.

As our children are growing and maturing, they need to experience failures, disappointments and rejection, which teach hard lessons best taught in small doses with small things that don’t matter much.  A cookie denied before a toddler’s dinner or a refusal to buy a cell phone for a third grader might seem like a travesty to a young child at the time. but then as (s)he grows, he will better handle bigger disappointments:  a role denied him in the fifth grade play, a try-out that didn’t get her a position on the HS cheerleading squad, or an application rejected to the university of his dreams, a car that she can't afford (never mind the insurance and gas)...

Someone else (unknown) once said that “A man’s children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season.”  We need to spend time weeding out things like selfishness, entitlement, greed, pride, and meanness which are but a few of the things we must “nip in the bud”, as the saying goes.   

The fact is that in giving our children everything, we are setting them up for disappointment, misery, failure and heartache down the road.  Real life does not give us everything we want.  If our children learn that early on, then they will understand that they won’t always get their way or get their heart’s desire, and that when they do, they should be grateful. Gratitude is an attitude that needs to be taught and nurtured as our children go through life.  They mustn’t grow up believing that everything in life is “owed” to them or they will have a very difficult time understanding and accepting the circumstances when something doesn’t come their way. A "No" now helps them know how to handle disappointment down the road!

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Please feel free to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree!  These are my personal opinions and reflections from my own experience, mixed in with the wisdom I gleaned in my training as a certified parenting leadership coach. I would be interested to know your thoughts!  Thanks, as always, for visiting!  Have a great end of the week~