I’m a big No-sayer. Just ask my kids. On any given day my kids know that if they want a “yes” answer about video games, or tv, or french fries, or candy they should probably ask their dad first. Don’t worry, i’ve read all the books all the so-called experts have written about how emotionally unhealthy it is for kids to always hear the word “no.” Personally, i think they’re full of crap. Disappointment is part of life. We don’t always get what we want when we want it. & i think there’s something to be said for being able to accept “no” as an answer. Funny thing i’ve noticed lately is that I often say “no” when the answer should probably be “i don’t know” or “maybe” or “wait.” In my reasoning, the advantage to doing this is twofold. First, i can avoid all of the nagging that inevitably accompanies a “maybe” answer. And second, it buys me time to ponder the request & i always know that i reserve the right to change my mind later because, after all, i’m a girl. And i happen to be the mom.
So, when my daughter approached and BEGGED me for a bottle of “big girl perfume” i gave my initial, obligatory “no” answer. I gave the same response when she asked for sparkly eyeshadow, Colored lip gloss, dangle earrings, and shiny shoes with a “little high heel.” Don’t get me wrong, i remember being a little girl and dreaming of someday having a life that was full of these things. As a matter of fact, i still remember requesting my first bottle of Love’s Baby Soft perfume. I vividly recall having this page torn out of Seventeen Magazine & scotch taped into my middle school locker because of course this hottie was talking about ME….whether or not he knew how to spell my name….
When it comes to grown-up things for little kids, i’m not really sure how popular my opinion is. Quite honestly it makes no difference if people agree or disagree with me. I think there’s wisdom in learning to accept disappointment and wisdom in learning to wait. Our daughter Sophie “waited” until her 6th birthday for her first bottle of Love’s Baby Soft (big girl) perfume. And on her 7th birthday she finally got her first pair of dangle earrings. Our son Jimmy waited until he was 12 to be allowed to play certain video games rated “T” for teen and even though his 2 years of waiting for his own cell phone may be coming to a close this Christmas, the answer to his request for an iphone with unlimited everything and no restrictions will ABSOLUTELY be a firm & very definitive NO.
For kids as well as adults, it’s nice to have something to look forward to. Sometimes when we get our heart’s desire we realize it was so much more than we ever dreamed and other times we discover it’s not all it was cracked up to be. And then there are those times that the desire just remains unfulfilled. No matter how it ends up I think there’s wisdom to be gleaned along the way. If we are unwilling to indulge in self-pity, we are sure to end up a little more wise and a whole lot more grateful.