There was a time in my early parenting when my children would make a request about something they wanted, and my knee-jerk reaction was to say no. It wasn’t something I gave much thought to, it was my natural reflex. Looking back, I think it felt like a safe place to start and perhaps we could take it from there. Their reaction was to go into defense mode and the games would begin. Could they convince me and ultimately get what they wanted? I came to realize that starting in defense mode was not a productive way to parent, and it wasn’t much fun for the kids either.
Good communication and close connection are qualities parents want with their children and, believe it or not, kids want to have with their parents too. Before you can have good communication, everyone has to feel calm and also safe. This means making a deliberate choice to listen to your child with an open heart and an open mind when they come to you with a request.
What are some of the reasons you may be tempted to say no to a request from your child to do be or have something? One of the main reasons may be fear. You may fear for your child’s safety, or maturity level in regards to what they are asking of you. Maybe when you were a child, you weren’t allowed to do what they are asking for. Perhaps it feels easier to say no rather than taking the time to be fully present and consider their request. Whatever your reasons may be; leaving the door open for your child to practice their communication skills will serve them, as well as your relationship.
How you can turn a No into the possibility of a Yes.
~ Take a deep breath and allow your child to fill you in on the details of their request without jumping to conclusions. For example: Do they have the information needed for you to make an informed decision?
~ Encourage your child to research what they are asking for. For example: If it’s an object, do they know the price, or if an experience do they know what’s involved?
~ Ask your child questions regarding their request. For example: What is motivating them toward what they want? Is it their true desire or that of someone else?
~ Ask your child to use their Internal Guidance System when making requests. Is this something they are truly wanting and how will it feel if they do get their request met?
~ Use your own IGS when faced with a decision your child has put on the table. How does it feel to consider a “Yes” to your child? How does it feel to say “No”?
~ Allow your open mind to consider that your child has a creative process that you may not be privy to. For example: Part of their soul purpose may be indeed inspiring them toward whatever they are asking for.
Few parents will say “Yes” to all of their child’s requests. Take the time to take an objective view of your motivations and that of your child’s before coming to any rock solid conclusions on any subject. Also, consider you don’t have to answer your child immediately. Knee-jerk responses can be avoided by telling your child you want to take some time to think about their request. As a parent, you want some wiggle room to consider your responses and possibly change your answer.
Please feel free to comment.
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.