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Why does my kid always say no?!?

Ugh!!! We have all been there as parents right? Your not being a demanding parent, your just asking basic question and here they go… NO NO NO NO NO… Sometimes it just feels like they are on a one word repeat and we can’t crack the magic code to get one simple YES! Our moments of parental frustration always beg the same following questions, Where do they learn this? Where does this defiance come from? When will this phase ever END!?!?

What if I told you that you (yes you Mom or Dad) may be part of the issue. What if the no bug is the virus you brought into the house? It doesn’t really feel all that great to admit that, but it’s worth examining. I mean let’s face it after all, every little bit helps when it comes to raising your child in a Godly manner. That kid didn’t pop out with a manual and we need all the tips and tricks we can get.

I️ mean let’s face it after all, every little bit helps when it comes to raising your child in a Godly manner.

So here’s what happened to me that changed my perspective. Now before I get to far, I am by no means saying you should always tell your child yes. Midnight ice cream, playing in the street in heavy traffic, and buying every toy in the store are prime examples of why no is still necessary. However, there are these other times, times when our children are emotionally open, they are moldable, and they are craving affection. These are the times it’s dangerous to say no.

So here I was coming home from a long day at work. I️ own a small lawn and tree business and I️ was sore and tired from head to toe. To top it all off, I had driven some crazy number of miles that day, all in city traffic without a single highway mile. I️ was tired, cranky, and completely done. My goal was simple, sit down in my recliner, catch up on the latest sports headlines and keep track of my 3 year old while some form of Disney princess played in the background. I know how that sounds, but it was just that kind of day. My toddler had other plans.

I️ was tired, cranky, and completely done.As soon as I️ hit the door my daughter says to me, “daddy can we go on adventure in your truck?” Now hold on right there, I have 2 options immediately and the easy road is a firm NO! Yet, for some reason this time I paused just long enough to have this thought. We had been going through the NO phase, and the whining about everything phase for a few days. That’s when it hit me, maybe I can change the momentum if I take a moment and sacrifice. Maybe I can show her that YES is a good thing sometimes. Maybe this is my opportunity to show her I care about her creativity and imagination, and I’m not just the disciplinary grinch. So you guessed it, I said YES!

What followed was one of my favorite daddy daughter dates of all times. We ran from monsters, looked at the stars, sang Moana songs at the top of our lungs and then stopped for ice cream. When I got home I realized that I all I️ had given was 90 minutes of my time, but the joy on my daughters face and in her heart was eternal. The true test came about 20 minutes later. I asked Reagan if she was ready for bed. Usually this is not a pleasant time at our house, because what kid ever in the history of ever has ever wanted to sleep…. ever…. My precious girl looked at me kissed me on the cheek and said, “night night daddy, I love you. Let’s do more adventures tomorrow!”

Parent win!!!!! The realization slammed me in the face at that moment, her obedience was led by me simply saying yes. For this moment in time I had killed the dreaded no bug with its arch enemy YES.

By taking time to give unconditionally to our children we teach a valuable lesson. We show them that they are free to dream, chase the stars, run from monsters, and yes even eat ice cream. Our kids will often reciprocate our heart and match our attitude. So with that in mind, I challenge you to say yes. No matter what your day has been like, or what lies ahead tomorrow, sacrifice time and attention to your kids. Who knows, they might just say yes too!

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