Saying “No” has never been hard for me until I had my son. I’m not sure why. I was raised by a single parent who had a very strong personality. My mom would say to people, “Shoot, I will find new ways to tell people no to foolish stuff”. That kind of attitude has helped me in relationships, but not with having one child who is the light of my life. I sometimes struggle with being too stern and too lenient. Walking that line is hard for me because he is such a cutie. That has hindered me in some ways because my son’s emerging personality is about divide and conquer to get what he wants. Here’s an example: Brennan has recently discovered a fondness for honey buns. Yep, honey buns. (Thanks Auntie Nikki!)
Well, he asked me to buy him some and I said, “How do you know about honey buns?” He responded, “Because I had some at Auntie Nikki’s and they were so delicious!” I told a little white lie to quiet him for asking for honey buns. I said, “Yes”. Well, my reason for lying was to hopefully fill his little brain with other things so he would forget about honey buns. You know what? It worked for a couple of days. He didn’t ask for them. However, on the third day he realized he forgot to follow-up with me about the honey buns and inquired about them again. This time, I said, “No. Honey buns are not healthy and they have so much sugar you can go into a diabetic coma.” He started to cry and make that cute little face that I fall for and I heard my mamma’s voice whispering, “Shoot, I find new ways to tell people no to foolish stuff.” I straightened my back and said, “Baby, I am not buying you honey buns and you are not allowed to eat them anymore. You can have fruit, chips or the cookies that I concede to letting you eat, but that’s it. Wipe your tears or you won’t be able to play with your Ipad.”
He dried his eyes and conceded. One battle down and a thousand more to go. I’m trying the give and take with him, but childhood obesity is real and that has always been my fear. That’s why I keep him active and encourage him with healthy alternatives. He may not understand my reasons for saying no, but I’m doing it because I love him. So, the point I learned: It’s okay to say no. It wasn’t the end of the world and I didn’t kill him.