The Power of Saying No
Why Parents Can't Say No:
- They feel guilty. When parents feel like they are neglecting their children, they're often inclined to say yes to their children's requests. "Out of a spirit of guilt, we give them things to compensate for not giving them the greatest gift of all—the gift of ourselves," Rabbi Shmuley says. "We think we can compensate by buying them things."
- They're reliant on our children's affection. When parents are in a bad marriage, they're often not getting their principle affection and validation from their spouse. This causes the parent to become dependant on getting affection from the children. "A lot of parents can't say no to their kids because their child is the only source of affection," Rabbi Shmuley says. "So you find yourself buying it and purchasing it."
- They're just too tired. Parents can get so burnt out from working so hard that when they come home, they're too tired to deal with confrontation. It can be easier to say yes than to get in an argument, Rabbi Shmuley says. "That's why you are saying yes to your kids—because you've come home with no reserves."
- They're insecure. When people can't say no, it is really out of insecurity, Rabbi Shmuley says. "Strength gives you the power to say no, so believe in yourself." Don't be afraid that saying no is going to mean rejection, he says.
"We find it challenging to say no to our kids because we parent out of fear—fear of rejection, fear of not being loved—rather than out of strength, but when it comes to parenting, the 'no' of discipline is yet another form of love."