Family · Life

No means No

I love how a child’s mind works. Many toddlers and preschoolers are known for being inquisitive. As adults the cuteness and novelty of “why” dies quickly, but for a child not so fast.

I know you’ve been there. “What are you doing mommy?” “Making dinner.” “Why?” “We need to eat when daddy gets home” “why?” This line of questioning has no real end in the toddlers mind – or so it seems. We, the adults forget that with out asking questions we don’t learn. It’s easy to forget that someone taught us what we know. Because we forget the purpose of the questions is to learn and understand, we sometimes answer them in a wrong manner.

That said sometimes we can forget that answering with “because I said so” is an acceptable answer. I’ve witnessed one to many times parents asking the kids if the answer they’ve given is “ok?” Example: “jimmy, go put your shoes on,” “why” “because we’re going outside and it’s cold and..,, ok?” Or “You need to give the girl back her toy” “Why?” “Well (insert fake reason here) ok?” I feel that when parents use those long winded ok? answers they are trying to justify their own parenting.

Parents. You are the parents! Our 5 year is going through the preschooler version of “why?” I say the preschooler version because the questions aren’t always about how things work the way a toddler questions. She questions the authority. “Mom, can I have gum?” “Not now” “why?” …. Wait for it.., “because I said so.” We are currently training her that she is allowed to ask “why?” ONCE!!! After we acknowledge and answer her “why” she is not allowed to ask again. She’s getting better and better. Our goal here is not only our sanity but to teach her no means no. .

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