Published On: Thu, Jan 4th, 2018

Saying No In 2018

When you are a parent, it can be very difficult to say ‘no’. No matter what you do, you want the best for your children and you want to give them everything that you never had and more. You want them to feel like they have everything from holidays to the latest must-have toys. The trouble with that, is that it can be very expensive to simply say ‘yes’ all the time. Being a more assertive parent when it comes to trinkets, trips and spoiling isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Those big blue eyes and the toddler saying please are all sure-fire ways to melt you into a puddle and pull on your heartstrings.

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The thing to remember here, is that you are not a puppet. Those heartstrings are made of steel and while you can be soft with your children, that doesn’t mean you have to bankrupt yourself to make them happy. There are many parents that will get themselves into a lot of debt just to avoid telling their children that they cannot have something. If you have found yourself in the trap of Googling the best credit cards for balance transfers to make room for that holiday to Disneyland, then perhaps in 2018 it’s you that needs to learn to say no. It’s not about saying no to the children, but saying it to yourself so that you don’t give in. It is not easy to tell a spirited child that they cannot have something; some parents like to say yes so that they have an easy life. But life is not easy, and children are not the rulers of your wallet or your home, even if they are the rulers of your time.

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Children learn very quickly how to manipulate and act out to get their own way, but you are the parent – the adult – and if you start out by saying yes to everything and not placing boundaries on inappropriate reactions, you are setting yourself up for a life of difficulty. They learn how to get what they want from a young age. Children don’t have the same filter as adults when it comes to emotion, and so whether you have a toddler throwing a fit in the supermarket to get a toy or sweets, or you have a teenager who is trying to push the boundaries, you need to be able to set the rules early. The result of not doing so, are children who feel that they are owed everything and anything they like, and you can never say no because you haven’t started out that way.

Make a promise to yourself that in 2018, you will make changes to your relationship with your children. They need boundaries, and you need to be able to look at your bank statement with both eyes open. Getting yourself into financial trouble because saying no is too hard, is not the way to live your life. Be brave, be bold and be the parent you set out to be in the first place.