As Mick Jagger once said, “You can’t always get what you want!” From my experience as a parent and as a teacher, most children take a while to understand that no means no, not maybe!
I have also observed that children feel more secure and happy when they realize that the adults caring for them are reasonable people but they are not going to ‘cave in’ under the pressure of nagging. Reasonable people mostly explain their decisions but sometimes children have to accept that parents and teachers are not in the business of justifying every decision and that they need to accept ‘no’ as meaning ‘no’! Where justification of a decision is required, keep it short and simple.
As adults we have the responsibility of building children’s ability to control their impulses and deal with disappointment. The more resilient and ‘grounded’ children are, the more likely they are to succeed. If children do not learn these lessons early in life we are setting them up for disappointment and often under achievement in their adult years.
Children want boundaries as they make them feel safe and secure. I have met very few children who when treated with respect, fairness and kindness don’t respond well.
One clear message from all the psychologists studying children is, get it right early and set your children up for success because it isn’t going to get easier! Anyone with teenagers will relate to that.
Kia Kaha (be strong), so your children will grow up in a better position to realize their potential. Make thoughtful, reasoned decisions with the information you have to hand at the time, and stand by them.