Does NO automatically pop out of your mouth when your child asks a question?
Or… are you the parent who struggles to say, No?
No matter where you are on the NO continuum …here are some questions to ponder and to assist you in your yes, no, or perhaps, response to your child.
1. Is it legal?
Seems like most parents would say, Duh--to this but think about it. Many moms and dads really are okay with bending the law. They may not insist on wearing seat belts, following curfew, or the drinking age. Decide if “Is it legal.” is an important consideration in your family.
2. Is it honest?
If honesty is a core family value, it will come at a price. It is never convenient and it is sometimes costly. Is it okay to be undercharged? Is it kosher to lie when returning an item?
Good questions for our kids –and us–to wrestle with.
3. Is it considerate?
Does the request or behavior affect another person’s feelings, property, or privacy? Could there be a different way to go about reaching a goal without hurting another? Is it okay or not to borrow something from a family member without permission?
4. Is it healthy?
Personally I don’t think everything has to be healthy or GMO free. But I do think balance and moderation are good life skills. But that’s just me. This is a question for moms and dads to work through and decide where they stand on the healthy continuum and what the family boundaries will be concerning this.
5. Is it practical?
Is there enough time? Is there enough money? Sometimes, even if something isn’t practical it may be plausible. This could be an opportunity to get creative and consider how to work something out. Think outside the box. Not enough money? Hold a garage sale. Not enough time? Rearrange some commitments. Set priorities.
6. Is it safe?
We have become a nation of wimps. We are so uber-safety conscious our kids are afraid to take a risk. Ask yourself what you will be okay with when it comes to safety. Teach your kids to avoid recklessness but yet still be willing and confident enough to take a risk.
7. Is it age appropriate?
You know your child. Age appropriateness coupled with the knowledge of the child’s personality, trustworthiness, and skill set are the factors to consider before saying yes or no. My two youngest daughters were bothered by movies they deemed scary. Even if they were “of age” they avoided this type of movie.
And one final and most important question:
8. Does it honor and bring glory to the Lord?
Even if the answer is yes to all the above statements and even if an affirmative answer feels good… if number 8 is not a solid YES…Tom and I will use the two letter word.
Our kids have moved into the young adult years. We pray that they too will first seek God and His Word before moving forward.
What we allow and avoid sends a big message to our kiddos regarding our priorities, morals, values, and faith. Ultimately, we want to train our kids to make and embrace their own good and godly decisions and choices.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction
and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck.
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With faith hope, and love,