Dear Sue Ellen
I was at the park with my grandson a few days ago, and a little boy walked over to my grandson and pushed him down for no apparent reason. The boy’s mother saw the whole thing and I was shocked by her reaction. She didn’t scold or correct her son, but looked at my grandson who was still on the ground as if he did something wrong. She offered her son an ice cream cone as they walked off together. Maybe I am out of touch, but it seems to me that his mother should have punished him for being bad instead of rewarding him with ice cream. Am I missing something here?
I have a word for parents that let their kids get away with bad behavior. The word is NO. Here are some helpful suggestions for when to use that word:
No, you can’t be mean to other children.
No, you can’t always have your way.
No, you will not say hateful things to your parents, or other adults, or other children.
No, you’re not going to stay up past your bed time.
No, you can’t skip your bath.
No, you don’t get to color on the walls.
No, you won’t get away with accidently-on-purpose forgetting to brush your teeth.
No, you can’t run wild through the aisles of Wal-Mart
No isn’t a bad word. It is a healthy word that teaches children boundaries. We all need boundaries. It helps us to understand there are limits in life, and to feel safe. Did you know that not teaching your children good boundaries is a form of child neglect? A lot of times it is easier to give in and let our kids have their way, but is it the best thing for the kids? No.
It’s our job as parents and grandparents to teach our children to become responsible, productive and healthy adults. It is one the hardest jobs we will ever have, and the most important.
Please email your parenting questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and put “Parent’s Corner” in the Subject line.