Parenting Survival Rule # 4- Just Say No!
We can thank the former First Lady Nancy Reagan for the iconic phrase intended for a solution to the drug crisis of the 1980’s. To be honest, the campaign was centered on a great idea, but lacked tangible understanding towards a solution for a bigger problem. So, here we are, most of us children of the 80’s, with a slap-stick use of the phrase, but no real application because “it’s not that easy” is the most common response to simplistic solutions that lack tangible sustenance. You may be thinking, now that she has torn down the effectiveness of this saying, how is she going to re-use it when giving parenting advice? To that question, I say, “Hold my coffee, and watch this!” The approach was not wrong, it just lacked application. As parents, we often start the journey with goals that encompass wanting more for our children than what we had. There is one major problem to this thinking in that there are more options available for our children than we could have ever dreamed. I recently heard that colleges are adding Gaming into their degree programs and Computer Science divisions because there actually is a future in video games… (this just killed my stance of “there’s no future in video games” rebuttal to my son!) The need to say no is greater than ever. The need to teach our children limits and not taking on too much is being challenged at the greatest it’s ever been. But wait, who is managing all of these things? Who makes sure to keep up with schedules, taxi children from sports to tutoring to birthday parties, to guitar lessons? Who is responsible for emotional stabilization when everyone is tired and hungry from trying to fit as much as possible into 14 hours of the day while having some resemblance of family time? US! Parents! Can I get an Amen from the people in the back?? Here’s the reality, prioritize. Learn the most important characteristics that you want to shine in your children. Do you want their legacy to be one about character or business? Do you want their memories to be blurry and the details forgotten due to overload, or do you want them to tell their grandchildren about the family traditions of going to the lake every summer? Now, don’t misunderstand my guidance on this matter. I believe in involvement, but limit it to manageable amounts. If I ask you, what does your family do for fun together outside of running to activities, could you answer? If you, like many of us, struggle to answer, then it’s time to say no. I promise you will not regret it and if you read my previous blog about parenting advise, then you’ll remember it’s ok to start over it you do feel regret. Happy Declining Everyone!