I recently wrote a post about my undertaking of learning how to set boundaries. As I have ventured down this road, I have spent some time thinking about my own childhood, as well as my son and children in general. I know that for me, I did not learn to set boundaries as a child and therefore did not learn that my boundaries deserve to be respected. I learned to please those around me, and somehow thought that was the way to being loved. I can see clearly how I have found myself in this space, now learning as an adult to set essential boundaries and honor my truth.
As I think about my son, I know that I want him to not only learn to set boundaries, but also to feel safe in doing so. I want him to know that he will be loved for who he is, honoring his truth and taking care of his own needs. As I have thought about this, I have found myself considering the word “No” and the way we treat that word as parents. Our children learn to say no rather early on, and for a while it may seem for some kids that this is the only word that they can speak. For parents, this can be frustrating and overwhelming. Over time, the obsession with the word “no” may fade, but the importance of it should not.
What is the importance of saying no?
When our children are saying no, it is there communication to us that there inner self is not in agreement with our request or our direction. They are making an attempt at living their truth and standing up for it. Now of course, we as parents need to make judgment calls at times and keep our children safe and protected. We can’t always allow everything our child’s inner self is requesting as we would then be eating cookies for dinner, staying awake until we literally fall on the floor, and probably walking around pretty dirty!! We do though need to truly listen to our children and what they are saying. We need to understand that allowing them to say no is a valuable teaching tool.
Find the opportunities to allow your children to say no.
Through allowing our children to say no we teach them how to set boundaries. They are able to learn an effective way to communicate to others how they feel on the inside. They learn that it is ok to disagree or not go along with the status quo of the home, and that they will still be loved and accepted. By our allowing the word no, we also have this beautiful opportunity to show our children that we respect them and trust in their own abilities to know what is best for them. They learn what it feels like to have their boundaries respected. After all, we want to teach them to listen to their inner voice, rather than to ignore it.
As our children say no, let’s take a moment to step back to evaluate the situation and what it is they are saying no to. Listen to them and what they are attempting to communicate to you, rather than immediately jumping to disagree with them. Let’s give them the opportunity to tune into their inner voice, set their boundaries, and feel respect and love.