Saying No to Kids

 As a parent, you usually want to give to all demands your kids make. You just can’t say a no to your kids and the kids as usual, hate to hear a no. But the truth is that you need to train your children to accept disappointments, denials, and refusals. Modern life is not only competitive but also stressful in many aspects. Children have to gradually adapt themselves to this demanding environment at some point of time.

I have seen children throwing a tantrum, rolling on the floor/road, and crying at the top of their voices in demanding something that they want. Even worse, the parents, instead of telling them to stop the tantrum, enjoy it and give the child what (s)he is asking for.

Yes, it is difficult to see your child hurt, but is it better that your child is hurt when you are around make them understand in private and also to lend them morale support. This is exactly why parents need to train their young ones to go through denials and disappointments and allow them to learn to arise from the setbacks. Children must be taught to take a no, not only from parents but also friends, teachers, neighbours, and even strangers.

  • Refuse without saying no: First start without saying a no to your child. We don’t have to sound negative all the time. Now, how do you refuse without saying a no? When you 4-year old child picks a chocolate, you immediately say a no!!  Why don’t you rephrase the statement a bit?

Avoid: No chocolate before lunch/dinner.
Here it sounds as though you are refusing the chocolate though you only mean to say no chocolate before the meal; can be had later.

Better: You can have the chocolate after lunch/dinner.
Here it sounds as though you are allowing the child to have the chocolate. Here, even though you mean to say no chocolate before the meal, that is left unsaid.

  • Let them decide: Most of the kids are not interested in doing home work. Instead they either want to play or watch something on TV. Parents end up pushing them to do the homework and the adamant child keep refusing to do it. Most of the tie, the child ends up hating to do the home work. The best thing is to give them an option and let them decide.

Avoid: First do your homework and then play.

Better: Decide what you want to do—-play for half an hour and then do your homework or do your homework now and then watch your favorite cartoon show?

The child will probably decide the latter.  By offering them an option, you help your children feel like they have some power over the situation. They also feel that they have the right to make the decision. For kids uptill five years of age, this also encourages them to make simple choices and develop a sense of independence and competence.

  • Never satisfy all demands: All parents derive immense satisfaction from fulfilling all the wishes of their children. It makes them feel that they are good parents. Remember, prevention is better than cure. As parents, you should deliberately leave some wishes unfulfilled. If every whim and fancy of the children is entertained and fulfilled, they will grow up to be a very self-centered person. They will also not value what they have, they will want more.

    If they don’t learn to take rejection at a little age, even small rejection at school will hurt them to a large extent.  If someone at school (may be a friend) does not reciprocate their feelings, they may get depressed or even violent. If they are not selected for a school event, they feel a sense of humiliation. Such children will not be able to take disappointments in the right spirit and there are chances that they become prone to acute depression.

  • Discipline begins at home: Some parents tend to pamper children unreasonably. Abundance of anything, ranging from toys, games, sweets and chocolates, spoils children at a very young age. Research has shown that children brought up in affluent families, where their needs are taken care of often tend to lose their power of imagination.

    They have too much on their platter that it becomes difficult for them to yearn for anything. Therefore, parents should not bombard their children with more than what is actually needed. The need for this inherent discipline has to be first followed by the parents themselves. Only then will you be prepared to prepare your children for the rough and the smooth in life.

  • Never encourage comparisons: Parents should always discourage their child’s tendency to compare his or her material assets with other children. For instance, if your child demands a toy because a neighbour has got a new one, you need not buy one for your child. You need to explain why such a craving should not be entertained. If you don’t curb this tendency at a very early stage, such children will end up constantly comparing themselves with other people.
  • Don’t try to please the kids: In order to keep their daily routine hassle-free, parents tend to please children. Remember the times you have said, “Don’t disturb me now, go watch TV instead.” The policy does not pay in the long run. When you want to stop the child form watching TV, they will not listen to you. However, over appeasement has short-term gains. Children lose respect for their parents. Therefore parents must have the courage to call a spade a spade.
  • Never give in out of guilt: Some parents tend to please their children out of guilt. They are ready to do anything for their children to get rid of their own guilt. These days the children are smart enough to know the reason behind the bribe and use it to their advantage. Therefore, parents should not let guilt get better of them. Instead they must have the courage to face the child’s tantrums and let them know that they cannot get everything they ask for.

For example: A working mother who comes home late may be harried. She may not have time for attending to the child’s homework. If the child asks for an ice cream after dinner, chances are that the mother will give in despite knowing the fact that an ice cream can cause a bad throat.

Indifference in a Relationship/Marriage

Why do marriages fail? There are many reasons—lack of trust, lack of communication, disrespect, disregard, or differences with your spouse (what we usually say, “the other half”), non-compatibility, and may more .

But the reason that stands out as a major cause is something that many people are not aware of. It is indifference. Indifference in a relationship means not caring what the other person does or does not do, feel or does not feel. In short, when you just don’t care what the other person feels or is going through, you are indifferent.

A relationship can survive angry arguments, differences incompatibility, lack of communication, and/or communication problems, even disregard with some difficulty. Some couples also manage to survive lack of trust and respect in the relationship. But indifference is a bigger threat than all these. This is because 99% of the couples may not even be aware of the fact that indifference can be such a major threat in a relationship.

Why does indifference creep into a relationship?

  • Self-centered spouses are blind to the desires of their partners. For them, their own needs,  requirements, like, and dislikes are of utmost importance.

For example, an insecure husband is sometimes unwilling to communicate openly, share his problem, and seem vulnerable in the presence of his wife. Slowly, as time passes, he might not want his wife to share her problems with him, just because he does not want to share his problem. It is easy to say, I don’t trouble you with my problems, so you don’t trouble me with yours. As time passes, this slowly turns into indifference.

  • Taking things for granted: Think about the early days of your marriage (or even your courtship period). You probably did almost everything together—watching TV, doing household work, grocery shopping, banking, etc.

Unfortunately, in many cases, the spouses or one spouse start taking things for granted. Doing things together and spending time together reduces and eventually it discontinues. Instead, they start doing something else which contributes extensively to the indifference factor.

  • It has become a habit: When a partner, say you become involved in your own work and/or activities and refuse to allow your partner to be a part of it, or even share information with the spouse, the two of you begin to spend more and more time apart.  You as a couple also become emotionally separate and distant from each other.

In some case, both of you are simply too busy to talk together and to be together. After a while you may find that it doesn’t even bother you to be apart so often, probably it has become a habit and you have found a way to keep you occupied. This also slowly contributes to complete indifference. The factors which were once considered important for close, healthy, intimate, and growing relationship almost become non-existent.

  • Feeling of interference: Indifference becomes a punishment for the spouse who still cares and hence the person gets badly affected by such behavior.

Your spouse may be already indifferent, but you still are not. Their habit angers you. We all know that anger is a negative feeling, but here, it is a way of showing that you care. Unfortunately, the indifferent spouse does not realize that you are angry because you care. For them, your caring nature is a major issue because they see it as an interference—as their habit angers you, and you, in turn, start talking, even though it is in anger.

  • Stop caring: Eventually, arguing may also stop after a while because you stop caring if your partner/spouse is wrong or is doing wrong. Once you stop caring, you automatically stop interfering, and this makes them happy. You also start to feel relaxed since there is no more argument and there is peace and calm. So, you try to condition yourself not to be hurt by the words or actions of your spouse.

So we can say that trust is not at all an issue because your partner does not even care about earning your trust, affection, or respect. He/she just want to get to do what they want to do (drink alcohol when they please, take drugs, come and go as they please, buy things they want) without any cribbing or questioning from your part.

If both the partners are indifferent, there are no arguments and so it does not hurt anyone. So everything seems to be okay on the surface, to you and to the outside world. You interact every day in silence where everything seems okay because neither of you (or one of you) cares whether it is OK or not. But unfortunately what you fail to understand is that it is no longer a good relationship as it is hardly a marriage. It is dragging a dead relationship.

What to do?’

What happens when plants are not watered regularly? They wilt and eventually, they die. The same is true for any relationship (even marriages). When husbands and wives become indifferent to each other, they become almost non-existent in the other’s minds and thoughts. Because of this, the marriage is deprived of the manure that is important for growing the relationship. As a result, it withers and dies.

However, if you have made up your mind, you do not have to succumb to the devastating effects of indifference. You can follow a few simple guidelines to prevent indifference from growing to dangerous proportions. But what is important is, both the partners must whole-heartedly be involved in doing this. Even if one is disinterested, it will not work.

  1. Awareness: The simplest, yet strongest step in fighting indifference is being aware of the possibility of the existence of indifference. Be aware of some of the danger signs, such as not spending time together, communicating less frequently, having separate activities, not wanting to spend time with the spouse, not wanting to take care of the spouse, etc.
  2. Show interest: The next step is to show interest in solving the problem and that it is by showing interest in your spouse. You can improve your relationship by getting genuinely interested in your spouse, their well-being, their work, and their activities.
    1. Show keen interest and encourage your spouse to speak about things that are of concern to them.
    2. Ask questions which will let your partner know you are interested in his/her activities.
    3. Be an attentive, interested, and concerned listener. You will discover the fact that by being a good listener, you can actually fill a person’s need for respect.
  3. Avoid fragmentation. Today, the relationships are no longer a thing to be taken for granted—they are extremely complicated, fragile, and complex. Today, life and everything else associated with it is fast paced. You get so busy that you do not have time even to keep a relationship alive. As a social being, you are pressured to become involved in many different activities. Occupational, community and social demands pull us in several different directions at the same time. The result is that you feel pressured and your time and effort get fragmented. You are so busy and involved with work that you are constantly fatigued and irritable, you rarely see each other, rarely communicate with each other, and you stop enjoying each other’s company. You become terribly busy, too busy even to say a sorry or an I love you or show that you care. Then, starts the mine and your’s type of communication. This is not the way marriage is supposed to be.
  4. Forget I, say WE. Avoid my/mine and your type of talk. It is not a good marriage at all. Even if one of the spouses talks about my money, my problem, my family, my car, my time, my friends, my work, and so on, it is a difficult situation to handle (for the other spouse). But if both the spouses speak the same language, then they are moving in different directions altogether—my family, your family; my problem, your problem; my money, your money; my time, your time; my friend, your friend….. nothing seems to be theirs. Remember this behavior affects the children very badly—-they are the ones who have to face the harsh reality in either of the situations. Drop the mine and your type of behavior and start with we. These day’s people use the term “we are pregnant” instead of “my wife is pregnant” this actually shows off their togetherness.  As a rule, if you think you cannot let loose of the “mine” or “your’s” way of life, don’t get married and spoil many lives—your spouses and your children’s.
  5. Common goals:  What happens when two people stop working together towards common goals? Simple, they begin to go their separate ways. The same applies to a relationship as well, and each one of you tends to become self-centered and concerned only with your individual interests. Hence, if you are aware of the indifference in your life, try to work together toward common goals. When the two of you pursue a common objective, there will be a positive interaction. You spend time together, take care of each other, and support each other.  Thus, you will grow together instead of growing apart. Also, once the we factor enters the lives, things start getting better because you automatically start thinking we and doing things for we/us.
  6. Create joyful experiences. After a couple of years of marriage, people start taking their spouses for granted.  By doing this, many couples allow their marriages to become dull and boring.  It is very unfortunate that couples don’t realize the potential for “marriage”  to be one of the most joyful experiences in life. How can you make joy happen in your marriage? You can add joy to your marriage by a following simple exercise:
    1. Sit down with your spouse.
    2. List the things you enjoy doing in life.
    3. Ask yourselves how often you actually do these things.
    4. Make an effort to increase these fun things in your life.
  7. Renew your relation. Another way to strengthen your marriage is to renew it. Do the following exercise—the result may amaze you. Don’t crib or criticize when you do this exercise:
    1. Sit down together and decide what you do and do not like about each other.
    2. Make a list of the behaviors you would like your spouse to change. Similarly, let your spouse make a list of your behavior.
    3. Make a list of the behaviors that you would like them to continue with. Similarly, let your spouse make a list of your positive behavior.
    4. Mutually agree to eliminate those things that are causing dissatisfaction or distance in your marriage.
    5. You may not be able to eliminate all of them together, so, prioritize them, pick a few, and work on them and then address the rest.
    6. Put more emphasis on the positive aspects of your relationship by participating more often in activities and behaviors which make each other happy.

Remember, no relationship in life has more potential for bringing two people together as a marriage does. It brings in all types of joy, happiness, and bonding between a man (husband) and a woman (wife). Take baby steps to prevent marriage from deteriorating into indifference. By practicing the above-mentioned principles, it is likely that your marriage will become vital, growing, and very happy relationship.

Is it necessary to be in a loveless and bad marriage just because you want to show you don’t care? It only spoils your life. Change your behavior a bit and bring in lifelong happiness.