I’m learning lessons each day on what not to do with my daughter and son, so that they can become well functioning adults. It’s so hard not to be so judgmental of some mothers, because God knows I’m not perfect. I’m far from perfect. A lot of times I am very self absorbed, I want things my way, and if I am having sensory issues I tend to bite peoples’ heads off. It’s so easy to see the mistakes of others, and try to not make those same mistakes. I see my friends and family either being over attentive to every need of their child, or tend to be overly self-absorbed and ignore the needs of their children. The biggest mistake I see people making throughout childhood and even parenting into adulthood is not saying no. I am witnessing firsthand the results of an adult, who never heard the word, “no” uttered to her when it came to her wants and needs. Every whim was met, and now at 27-years-old she is living rent-free in a home that does not belong to her, and she is being so disrespectful to the people, who have for 27 years provided that home for her. The problem started at age 3, she was never told NO. It’s such an easy simple word.
In the same breadth, I see it in the parents I have come in contact with when it comes to parenting their special needs children. They also don’t tell their children no, to save themselves from the uncomfortable tantrums that ensue. I see it in adults with autism too, the fact that their parents didn’t say no, didn’t endure a few tantrums, and now they think again that world revolves around their whims and desires. They have no qualms about telling parents to bend to the will of their child, without realizing the inevitable harm avoiding that complex situation will cause.
I see it with typical children. It’s the new era of parenting, where no has become blasphemy. How can you tell your kids no? We were told no, and look at how screwed up we are. We were told no too often. Everyone is a winner, no one loses, and we all need to hold hands and sing campfire songs. The same attitude is portrayed when the parent is confronted with the undesirable behavior their child exhibits, how can my little Johnny be a bully?
The biggest lesson I have learned when it comes to my kids the last few weeks is I’m not my kid’s friend. I cannot very well set limits to their behavior in one breath, and in the next tell them not to do something. I need to be the final authority, and I need to tell them no once in awhile. Not just saying no to protect them from pain, illness, or because their request is so ridiculous that you can’t help but say no. I need to say no, because for the simple reason that I said no.