My second beautiful and perfect grand daughter was born last week. I just love those two little girls so much. My older grand daughter is eight months old, and during these past months I have realized a lot of things about being a grandparent and being a parent.
For one thing, I am glad I am not parenting these girls in the society we live in today. So much about this world makes it really difficult to use the "N" word with children. And I don't mean the racist "N" word. THAT'S just plain old hate-filled ignorance, and the word should be obliterated from our vocabulary - another blog, another time. I'm talking about the "N" word that is spelled N-O. Yes. That one.
We live in a permissive society in which parents often don't seem to feel comfortable telling their children "no". I never had that problem. I used every form of it - no you can't, no you won't, no I won't let you, nope, uh-uh, ain't gonna happen and etc..
I watched a mom in a store earlier today, struggling with a youngster who was grabbing things off the shelf and putting them in her basket. Instead of telling him no, she was trying to sneak the items back out and put them on a shelf. I'm guessing she didn't want to put up with the ensuing fit if she had stopped him in his tracks with the "N" word.
My eight month old grand daughter is getting to the age where she will need to hear that word. Possibly a lot. She is a little sweetie, but she also has a mind of her own - and that means when she is told no she is not going to like it one bit. And she will likely be very vocal about her disapproval. But even if she is vocal and gets mad and throws embarrassing fits, we will all still need to stand our ground and make sure no means no.
Seriously, the world is full of "nos". And if children don't learn how to accept them and move on when they are young, how will they cope when they are grown? When I was looking for a job a few years ago, I had a lot of interviews, and I was rejected repeatedly. Yes, there were times it made me cry in frustration, and it often felt unfair and like I was being discriminated against - but in the end I accepted the nos and moved on to the next opportunity. What I ended up with was far better than any of the previous jobs. And I was also a much stronger person for working through my disappointment.
There are a lot of things kids don't need. They don't have to try every new Oreo that comes out. They don't need televisions in their rooms. They don't need a cell phone until they are old enough to drive. Yup. You heard that right. It's okay to say no to that. Well, not really in our society. Middle schoolers and younger have cell phones now, but that doesn't make it right.
Only one of my four children got a cell phone in middle school. I was completely against it, but I got outvoted 2 to 1, and that child got a cell phone. A week after the cell phone was in the child's possession - I saw a text from a person of the opposite sex - it said, "I love you." My child had responded, "I love you, too."
I called my child to me and said, "No. No, you don't love somebody of the opposite sex at 12 years old. It isn't possible for you to experience the range of emotions and commitment that goes along with loving somebody. So, no, you don't. You must end that relationship."
And that child did, unhappily. And life went on.
I could never have parented my kids without the "N" word at my disposal.
Let's hear it for NO!!!!!!!