Just Say No
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We promise we won’t be too preachy today. We promise that our post will be nice and lull you into a feeling of warm fuzzies and butterfly kisses the likes you have never known. We also promise that tomorrow will be a day you will win the lottery and your Lamborghini will get 55 miles to the gallon. While we are at it, we promise to be as trustworthy as your parents were or your last boyfriend/girlfriend and never hurt you. We promise all these things and a pony, too!
Lee says: There are two things I cannot stand: one is disloyalty, which I think I have mentioned in other posts and is the subject of on-going therapy sessions, and the other is not honoring your word. It drives me nuts when I hear of people promising things they never deliver. I can think of a thousand faces of people who promised me something and failed to deliver. I say ‘I can think of a thousand faces’ because I probably do not have a relationship with them now and I probably etched their mugs in my frontal lobe so that I would not be suckered again. Like I said, I don’t like people who do that.
As a child, my parents would say a lot of things and promise things that they never delivered. My parents were busy people and were obviously overwhelmed by their career, children and life in general. They said a lot of things they didn’t mean back then to shut us up and regain some peace and quiet. The problem was when it came time to collect. You see, I as a child had a great memory, as do most children. When I knew that it was time to go to Disney or the movies as promised, I would wait impatiently by the door. My parents, instead of explaining that they had no time or that Disney had closed, either ignored the promise or scolded me for being a pain. Remember people, I am 44 and times were much different back then.
Today, we live in the land of responsible parenting which has spawned the land of entitlement. Today, we live in the land of always keeping your word to your child because we don’t want them to grow up being distrustful. Today, we live in the land of over-indulgent parents with spoiled, self-entitled children because Mommy and Daddy are still overwhelmed with life and sometimes, in a moment of panic or lack of imagination, you blurt stuff out like, ‘Of course I’ll buy you the Star Wars Lego Battle Star that costs more than the Kindle I have been saving for to buy myself for months!’
As the pendulum sweeps to the other side and takes away the parental right to mess up their child in their own way, we have settled on messing up our child by making them nothing but Veruca Salt with a genie. Kids have our number and know that the moment to strike is when Mom or Dad or both are having their mini-meltdowns and ask for the lastest Wii game with new controller. Like our parents, we say ‘Sure baby, I’ll get you a Ferrari’ and the next thing you know you are in debt up to your eye balls and some Italian finance company calls you every five minutes. O.K., maybe it’s not that bad. But my point is we are ruining our kid’s chances of ever being satisfied as adults. If every whim is sated then our kids will be just pleasure seekers and any kind of delayed gratification is met with frustration, intolerance and a tantrum.
So say no to everything. Avoid the easy answer just because you are tired. Make them wait. Hand me downs are fine. Tell them, ‘Just because everybody has one doesn’t make it right’. And my favorite, ‘in my day, fun was running around. Try that!’ Or you can try what my Mom would say, ‘En Cuba, éso no se veìa’. I love confusing kids.
Paul says: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I said, no, no, no. Umm…no. Ain’t gonna happen. No.
Consistency is the key.