Kids' Discipline: Just Say No!
First of all, I just want to let you know that, as a general rule, I don't hate children. As a matter of fact, I have and deeply love one of my own. Having said that, I'd like to tell you about an incident at the doctor's office.
We are in the waiting room when Mr. Doormat comes in with his children, who proceed to scream, fight, beat each other and slam toys down on hard surfaces VERY LOUDLY. Instantly I'm thinking that Mr. Doormat needs to control his kids. And then he asks them softly, "Don't you want to share the book with Little Sister, Big Brother?" and "Little Sister, don't you want to play with Big Brother?" (What is this, a friggin' Berenstain Bears story? Don't these kids have names?)
It takes everything I have not to grab Mr. Doormat and say, "Don't ask your children, tell them. If you ask, you give them permission to say no. Think about that. Do you really want to give your kids the option to say no when you don't want "no" as an answer? Be a parent."
I know that Mr. Doormat doesn't want to stunt the emotional growth of his darling little angels, but saying "no" will help his kids learn self-discipline and self-control. This won't cause irreparable psychological damage and mammoth bills from the therapist, nor will it turn them into serial killers later in life. In fact, it will give them boundaries and teach them how to behave—and it will save me the trouble of going over there and smacking him upside the head with that stupid book his kids don't want to share.