ABOUT THE BOOK -
EXCERPT FROM THE PARENTING GUIDANCE SECTION
Mommy and Daddy Are Always
Supposed to Say Yes … Aren’t They?
Most popular child-rearing books today encourage
parents to make building their child's self-esteem their number-one
goal. Parents are advised to give children of all ages – even toddlers
– a lot of choices and "say." However, many parents who
have adopted this approach find their
children becoming self-centered, spoiled, and less respectful of adults
and other children. Teachers complain about even very
young children wanting their way, arguing with them, having no empathy
toward others, and refusing to apologize. Parents are starting to
question whether this approach is too permissive.
Many parents are becoming increasingly
concerned about their children's behavior. Their children ignore,
refuse, and negotiate with them, being rude and sometimes relentless
unless things go their way. It's hard for parents to be
happy with a child who is pushing their boundaries all the time.
Parents become frustrated and angry with their children. As children
sense this, their self-esteem decreases – resulting in an outcome
exactly the opposite from what their parents hoped for. While parents
want high self-esteem for their children, they wonder how to prevent
these troublesome and unacceptable behaviors.
Most contemporary child-rearing
books fail to explain that parents should give young children only a
little bit of choice and say. As their
age and life experience increase, children can be given more and more
say – especially if you have helped them to become thoughtful
decision-makers and problem-solvers instead of little royalty who
expect to control everything in their lives.
Self-esteem does not develop because a child
has a lot of choice and say. It blossoms when he learns acceptable
behavior so he doesn’t need constant correction from others, and when
he acquires sufficient competence that he doesn’t feel less capable
than his peers. Self-esteem comes from developing
competence in many areas.
When parents have difficulty saying no
Difficulties can arise when one or both parents
feel bad about saying no to their children. There can be many reasons
for this: not wanting to disappoint your child, wishing to avoid
confrontations, wanting to treat him as an equal, or wanting him to
like you, to be your friend. The busyness of daily life can make
you feel guilty that you are not giving your child adequate attention.
Then when you are together, you may find it hard to refuse him
anything. There can be many other reasons, too – some stemming from
your own childhood. Perhaps you felt your parents never listened to
you, and you don’t want to repeat that with your children. It is also
common to have differences with your spouse about child-rearing,
usually about how much say your child should have.
Some of the other topics you’ll read
about in the book are:
- Why children test limits
- Why children think parents should say yes
- Balancing your needs and your child’s
- Being assertive
- When parents fail to work as a team