Live with intent, take time, have patience and gain a new perspective. See how having a relationship with your teen can change both of your lives. Say goodbye to status-quo.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just Because It Makes Them Happy, Doesn't Mean It's Good For Them!

I learned this the hard way with my daughter being diagnosed with Mono. I was humbled when I realized the reason I say YES to most things that make her life so busy, was because IT MADE HER HAPPY! But guess what? IT ALSO MADE HER SICK! It didn't mean it was good for her for me to say "yes". Even though she has built a lot of trust and there is no reason except for taking care of her health, to say no, doesn't mean I should.

I realized when she was first diagnosed, she came into my room to ask me if she could do something. Even though most of the time while she's been sick she's been "down". I thought about what she asked me, and paused, and thought, hmmm....I WANT to say yes, but that doesn't mean I SHOULD! Then, I thought, well "Why do I want to tell her yes?"

And then I thought more and said to myself, "Because it would make her happy!"
BAM! It dawned on me that just because I have no problem saying NO to other things such as material crap, behavior, tone of voice, certain movies or music, doesn't mean that saying YES to running around all the time makes it any smarter! What's the difference? If you asked any of the parents who have a hard time saying NO to their children over the other stuff I mentioned, what do you think their reason would be as to why? It would no doubt be because they know it makes their kid happy if they say YES to that pair of expensive jeans, or whatever the kid is asking for.
So I am no different, I just say YES AND NO to different stuff. And it's proved not well for my daughter.

Not only does she have mono, but she's carrying the Epstein Barr Virus, meaning Mono made it into her blood. She'll most likely carry that for the rest of her life.
I could feel responsible for her illness, but I can't do that. I am learning from it, and now scaling back, even though it's gonna be hard for me and her! I know how happy it makes her to be out and about having her hands in everything. And we all love to see how children happy, don't we?!

So the next time your child asks you something, or the next several times they do, think more about why you are saying YES. I think if it's in moderation, it's gonna be OK obviously to say YES. But I think we all have weaknesses as parents, where we've created a rhythm of YESES and our children are use to it and almost "expect" to get whatever that weakness in us is. Make sense?

But we have to be OPEN to the possibility of learning something as parents. I mean how could I have been this way for 10 years plus and not see it??? Answer me that!
So just keep an open mind and an open heart, and be humbled by the fact that we can always learn as parents. Wrestle with the possibility that some ways we are with are kids isn't what's best for them. You might not get as huge of a wake up call as I did, but it's good to stay on your toes.

Happy "NO" saying time!

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