Just say "no" to kids

(KFVS) - All of us have heard the catch phrase, "Just Say No."  It applies to drugs, right?  Well, yes and no.  "Just Say No" is a phrase that could easily be applied to parents today too.

In the desire to provide children idyllic lives, parents  find themselves doling out a lot of "yeses" and perhaps not enough "no's."  Compared to many of their parents, kids today have it all.  The latest gadgets, sports equipment and more.

Ken Callis, a child psychologist with a Cape Girardeau practice, says kids need to hear "no."  Callis argues that  "In life, they're going to hear the word no.  On the job, in relationships.

They're going to have to deal with disappointment and setbacks.  They need to hear no when they're growing up so they can handle the ups and downs of adulthood."

April McClintock and her husband Shaun, are raising three girls.  April says they do their best to make sure the girls appreciate all they have, but admits sometimes it's hard to say no, "You want them to have every opportunity, every advantage.  That way they can figure out their niche in life. "

It is a cold, cruel, competitive world.  Is it wrong to sign up your child for every sport, art class and organization?  There must be limits.  Saying "no" in a non-punishing way is ok, says Callis.

Explain to your child why you're saying no, in terms they can understand.  By giving our children everything, we are raising a generation of children, some therapists believe, who are overindulged.

Why are parents so quick to say yes?  We have more expendable income than our parents.

Sometimes it's because both parents work and feel guilty.  It could be our material-obsessed society that makes parents overcompensate by giving children material things rather than time.

Whatever the reason, some therapists believe children are not being given the opportunity to develop motivation and drive in their own lives.  Instead, says therapist  Jill MacDonald, kids over-value things— lack the drive to work for those things—yet feel entitled to them and even expect things to come easily.

The bottom line is to know when to say "no."  There are the obvious times to say "no";  when saying "yes" could create financial hardship;  grades could suffer;  or if something is dangerous.

It's the times in between that parents need to be sure not to fall in the trap of taking the easy way out, whether it's to avoid a tantrum or avoid having to deal with the situation.  "No" isn't a four letter word.

Remember how often your parents used it on you?  More "no's" believes April, will help kids appreciate the word "yes."

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