BEFORE YOU ASK THE ANSWER IS NO!
I swear I think that is my husband’s motto. Well at least my kids do.
I have five boys who will seek me out to ask a question that they could simply ask their father, who just so happens to be sitting right next to them. But no, they insist on finding me, no matter where I am or what I am doing.
Time and time again I ask them, “Why don’t you ask your father?”
The reply, “Because he always says no.” Every. Single. Time. (That’s their answer, not that he says no every time. It just seems like it.)
If there is one thing I have learned from being a parent it’s to pick your battles. Sometimes it’s just easier to let your son have a cookie when the alternative is a full blown argument. Have you ever argued with a three year old? Trust me, you don’t want to. They are mean, sad, cute and funny all at the same time. That right there makes you either bust out laughing or give in. So really what’s the point?
When my kids approach me with a question, I always ask myself, what will it hurt?
And usually I find that the answer is nothing. In fact I find that if I answer positively, within reason, my house is a lot more peaceful. No yelling, no screaming, no crying—and trust me my boys' screams can break glass so definitely not a positive experience. And imagine five shrill screams all at once. Yeah, it is amazing I’m not deaf.
But my husband and I don’t apply the same principles. I try to at least hear my children out before I say no, whereas my husband just says no! And really there are times where even I think he says no to everything. Here are some examples:
Dad, can I have a snack? No.
Dad, can I go outside? No.
Dad, can I play games? No.
Dad, can I go to a friend’s house? (I bet you know what I’m going to say don’t you) No.
And how do my kids respond? With a high pitch screech that I swear only dogs can hear. Now not only are my children in misery, but so is every dog, cat and bird in the neighborhood. Oh and did I mention that my windows are thin? So naturally the entire neighborhood can hear my children scream. I can’t imagine what they think goes on in my house.
And you see all that misery could have been prevented, the torture could have been stopped. I mean really it is not just the kids that he is torturing by saying no. When you say no to your kid, especially one who wants to do something that gets them out of your hair, you are essentially only punishing yourself. Because now they are going to torture you—relentlessly. They are going to continuously ask you, beg, and just all around pester you. All because he said no.
So why is that men always say no? Is it that there is a small part of them that enjoys torturing their children, thereby torturing everyone? Or is it that men just don’t think, that they react purely on instinct. And that instinct is all about survival and is derived from their fear of having to do something they just don’t want to do.
So to all you men out there…..both father’s and father’s to be. When your child approaches you with a question, just remind yourself that it is cruel to torture innocent people and animals. So think about what their asking and decide……do I want to be tortured?
Thanks, Danielle. I'll admit that I'm guilty of this. And, you're absolutely right. We're wrong. But, you've also confirmed the theory that If we keep it up they'll just go find Mom. So, thank you.
Danielle, aka Yell, is a mother of 5 boys, a devourer of books, food enthusiast and culinary creator who blogs it all at Consuming Worlds. Please check out her blog and leave her lots of awesome comments here.
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