Sunday, April 11, 2010

Getting to NO

We have just hit the teen years and like every other developmental stage in The Beast’s life—we are woefully unprepared.
The husband and I are almost always on the same page as far as parenting which consists of: Let the little nipper run wild.

But there are times when even we have to say no, but we both have different techniques…well…let me put it this way—I have a technique and the husband just says NO.

I want the child to get to NO on her own. I want her to think through the process as to why something is not a good idea and realize on her own (with constant suggestions from me) why walking bare foot into town is not a good idea…why being dropped off in the city for the day is not a good idea without a friend…why wearing certain outfits to school could be problematic… I want her to develop her own judgment. Or, at the very least, have my voice echo in her head when I am not around.

Although getting to NO is difficult in these new teen years—I find it somewhat similar to the toddler years. The first NO to something is always the hardest. In the toddler years—crying, begging, heart wrenching pleading. Now with the teen there are accusations about being out of touch with today’s culture and basic lameness on the part of the parents etc. But the next NO is often much more of a negotiation and more convivial—the Beast will say, before I even open my mouth, “Please, spare me the lecture—I am only wearing these shorts outside in the backyard.”

Slowly we get to NO or some close approximation.

1 comment:

Pam J. said...

Here's one way to look at it: sometimes you need the unequivocal "no"-- the husband's approach -- because teen brains simply do not work the same way adult brains work. There's an absence of the "whoa! slow down...this looks risky" wiring. They can't reason through the consequences of a particular action quite as well as an adult can. On the other hand, your approach -- the lectures, as she bills them -- are also necessary. Some of what you say gets through and stays around until the brain has matured. And it also shows the kid how much you love her. Although I doubt if any teen ever saw it that way.