1. I love you.
2. I’m proud of you
3. Tell me about it.
4. It doesn’t matter.
The fifth thing kids need to hear is “Yes!” Sometimes, it feels like kids are constantly asking us to take them here or there or do this or do that. It’s easy to say no. We’ve worked all day. There’s supper to fix, bills to pay. We’re tired and there just never seems to be enough time. On his Family Life Today radio program, Dennis Rainey tells parents to say yes, unless there’s a good reason to say no. You may lose some sleep because you agree to take your kid (and friends) to a concert. A houseful of giggly, screechy girls may keep you from enjoying the quiet weekend you were so looking forward to. But in the end, you’ll have made a lot of memories. And we found that our kids were more willing to accept it when we did say no because we’d said yes so many other times. They still didn’t like it when we said no, but that history of saying yes helped them trust there was a good reason behind the no.
And Number 6 is “No.” Sometimes, you just have to say it. You have to be the parent, the mature adult, and say, “No.” But don’t make that the only thing you say. Explain why you must say no. Use it as a teachable moment, a chance to help kids think beyond the immediate to the long-term consequences. Because kids live in the moment, they don’t consider that today’s actions could set them up for undesirable consequences, pain and anguish down the road. The habits they establish now can lead to trouble or blessing later on. Be strong when you must, strong enough to say no.
Next week, we’ll finish the series with the last two things kids need to hear. Until then, leave a comment about a time when you’re glad you said yes, or a time when you found the courage to say no.
And have a happy Independence Day!!