Somewhere along the way, it has become commonplace for parents to want to be a friend to their children, rather than a parent. They want their kids to like them, so they let the children do whatever they want, whenever they want. Parents buy their children anything they want, regardless of price or level of appropriateness.
This is not the way it should be.
Parents have been given the very important job of raising their children to be the people who God created them to be. And God didn’t create any of us to be selfish, entitled, spoiled brats.
One of the most important words I have learned as a parent is no. My kids do not need every little thing their hearts desire. They do not need to be doing activities that are not age-appropriate just because their friends are. They do not need me to coddle them so that I can be liked by them. What they do need is my wisdom and guidance to help them navigate this thing called life and sometimes that means I have to say no.
No, you can’t go see that movie that is rated PG-13 and all your friends are going to see because I have read that book and know that there are some things you don’t need to be exposed to.
No, I will not go home and let you wander around the square after dark with your friends, even if there is a public event happening there.
No, you can’t play outside with your friend today because you haven’t finished the job that you were given to do.
Saying no is a good thing when it comes to teaching and training our children.
But we have to make sure that we have a good reason to say no. I have tried to be very intentional about when I say no. Sometimes it is easier to say no than yes just because we don’t want to deal with the yes and all the implications that go along with it, not because there is something inherently wrong with what the kids are asking to do.
Sometimes, being a parent means being seen as the bad guy in the eyes of your children. But the reality is, you are really the good guy as you are taking an active role in teaching and training them. You may not always be liked, but you will be loved and appreciated, especially when they become adults and parents, and when they see that you are always working toward their best interest.