It may not be 100 percent accurate according to my former English teacher, but in my book, it is.
Too many times I catch myself giving reasons to my kids for why I tell them “No,” and I just don’t have that much time in my life at this point to keep up all the explaining. I think sometimes there is a time to give a reason such as a learning moment, but not every “No” deserves a supportive statement or argument. “No” is a complete sentence in my house now.
I may be wrong, and often I am, but I think this constant explaining and having to listen to why they don’t agree with my decision is part of a culture change where everyone feels like they need to be heard on everything. Everyone needs to have an opinion. When I grew up, it did not matter, and my parents did not have to defend their decision. I was not allowed to question it either. No meant No.
My last thought on this is that it sends a bad message to my children and causes more problems for them and myself. You see, when they ask and I say, “No,” they want a reason and then I give them one. We now turned this into a conversation or debate, and just like if you and I had a discussion and have opposing views, you are expecting to change my opinion. Naturally, for a child, this turns into asking again and again in the hopes that the answer changes. Let’s be honest, at times it does change to “Yes” and “Okay” and “This is the last time.” But then, what have we just taught our children? Keep asking and maybe the answer will change, which is what drives us all crazy, but we taught it and allowed it.
So, going forward: “No” means “No.” Final Answer. ■