Guest Author - Elaine Dayton
Parenting is one of the most precious roles that any human undertakes. Becoming a parent can be the most loving, rewarding, joyful relationship that we will experience.
Parenting can also be the most fraught and worrying experience ever encountered, especially when challenging behaviour from an adolescence tests patience and resolve.
Each stage of childhood requires parents to adapt and learn new skills, keeping kids safe and protected is of course the prime objective along with showing love, value and respect. Saying no to adolescence can be one of the more difficult aspects of parenting. Learning to accept NO as a definite answer is also one of the most important lessons a child will ever learn.
Many parents are living in the fast lane; taking time to parent alongside all the other responsibilities people hold is difficult.
Parents arrive home from work tired. The day has already been long enough. Time and energy is so precious that entering into arguments with teens is the last thing anyone wants to encounter.
When children are young, the word ‘NO’ holds meaning. By the time, the house is full of adolescence the word NO can lead to arguments, tears and tantrums. A teenager storming around the house, shouting or tearful can be a difficult situation to experience.
For some parents the whole process of acting as the disciplinarian can be difficult. Rather than take the challenge of acting as the responsible role model some parents want to become a friendly parent, coaching children into adulthood rather than guiding with boundaries.
There are many good reasons to show teenagers how to handle the being told NO. In the outside world a host of people who will expect teenagers to know how to handle a refused request, teachers and future employers amongst them.
In teaching the boundaries of respecting the answer NO, parents are giving a valuable life lesson; this includes putting a stop to destructive habits that may present themselves to teenagers.
Parents want their kids to be happy, indeed the whole family dynamics can wrap around the emotional welfare of children. Sad kids equal unhappy parents.
Here are a few tips on how to say no and mean it!
Choose your battles. As adolescence grows older, boundaries change.Try to think ahead, do not say NO just because you always have. Say NO because that is the right decision
Do not be put on the spot; tell the teens you are going to think about any decisions that need to be made. Then calmly inform them of your decision. If the answer is NO it is NO.
Do not allow the adolescence to come between parent/caregivers. A united message is a strong message.
Explain why you have made the decision, do not get into an argument, allow everyone to cool if tempers are frayed.
Do not allow arguments or whininess to win the battle.
Stay strong, believe in yourself, self sooth you have your teenagers best interests at heart.
In teaching adolescence the value of No, parents are in actual fact being good parents. You are teaching valuable life lessons, you are showing you care, you are saying ' I love you' maybe in a way that is hard to comprehend at the time, but will stand the test of time.
Remember teenagers do grow in to adults, they may not appreciate your boundaries now, but in time they will!