I Taught My Girls To Say "No" | Being Jane

Friday, December 19, 2014

I Taught My Girls To Say "No"

"Can you give me the keys?"


When we hear our children respond this way it can be infuriating but have you ever stopped to consider what they are hearing?

Until a couple of months ago, I never realized that I was setting Emma up to reply this way. I was ASKING her to give me the keys, not telling her.How many times have I gotten frustrated with her obstinate reply to my request? How many times have I gotten mad at her and had a conversation about how it is not okay to tell me "no" when she had the perfect opportunity?

I absolutely do not mind ASKING her things when it is appropriate for her to have a choice in the matter. But when I need her to obey when I speak, I need to phrase the request properly.
This situation really opened my eyes to how I speak to my girls, and made me realize that I need to think before I speak, and talk to Emma in a way that will produce the results I am looking for.

Next time our conversation will go more like this:

"Emma, hand me the keys, please."

"Okay, mommy!"

Lord willing of course, ha! Don't we all wish for our little ones to comply joyfully when we ask things of them? But how do we act towards them? Are we joyful and positive as much as we can be? If we get an agitated tone with them over a question they have (for the miiilllliiooonnntthhhh timeeeee), are we teaching them to speak to us, and others that way?

And again, this is not to say that I don't let my girls say the word "no", but I do want to teach them to be respectful, and to talk things out with others, instead of using their words in a rude manner. Don't we all? Isn't that our goal? To train up our children the way they should go, so that when they are grown they won't depart from it (Proverbs 22:6)?

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