I am an over-explainer. It’s a weird trait for an introvert, but I feel that my kids will benefit from a full explanation and understanding of situations, decisions, and circumstances. But sometimes the questions are just. Too. MUCH! My husband and I went to a parenting talk given by the brilliant psychologist, John Rosemond, many years ago. We learned a lot, but the simplest, most lasting take-away for me was his teaching on saying “No.” He suggests that when you say “No” and your child asks for a reason or explanation, one of the five following answers always fits the bill:
- You aren’t old enough.
- It’s not safe.
- We aren’t going to spend our money that way.
- We aren’t going to spend our time that way.
- That isn’t consistent with our family values.
If you can remember these five answers, your life as a parent will instantly become easier, especially if you tend to be an over-explainer like me. They are simple, and they remind your kids of what is important. One of the expectations you have no doubt placed for your kids is that they must not argue when you give them an answer. Help them live up to this expectation by giving well thought out, firm, air tight reasons to their “why nots.” …