Parenting

Trying To Not Always Be A “No!” Mom

I don’t like letting the kids jump/climb on the couches like they’re playground equipment. As a matter of fact, I say, “This is FURNITURE. Not a playground.” But the real reason I say, “No!” is because it annoys me when I’m watching TV to have them climbing around all over the place. AND, it messes up the couch cushions.

A few days ago, Wes decided it would be fun to jump off the arm of the couch onto the giant bean bag we have in the Man Room. I was about to say something like I usually do but instead, I just ignored it. I just said, “Be careful.”

He and Nikki had SO MUCH FUN nearly killing themselves jumping off the couch. Part of me wanted to interfere because – well – that was actually a bit dangerous due to the proximity to things like cabinets and fireplaces. But the other part of me just kept screaming: THEY ARE KIDS. LET THEM BE KIDS.

I let my kids do stuff like paint inside even though it ends in spills that stain the carpet. I let them tie-dye shirts even though it turns their hands green. I let them help me cook even though they sometimes put their finger in their mouths while helping to put the squash in the steamer. I let them dress themselves. I let them sleep with 14 stuffed animals at once.

I say this because I don’t want to seem like the, “NO!” Mom who says, “NO!” to every fun thing that could disrupt my life.

But lately? I feel like a “NO!” Mom more and more. It seems like they’re always wanting to do those things I do say, “No!” too. And every day, I find a part of me wondering if I’m squashing their little spirits for the sake of some stupid furniture that the dogs have drooled all over anyway. Or for the sake of some cabinets (They like to climb on the cabinets…) that we hate and hope to replace someday. I feel like I say, “No!” more and more lately just because…well…I’m annoyed.

So, I said, “Yes!” to the couch jumping. Or, rather, I didn’t say, “No!”

Of course – that threw EVERYONE for a loop all week. E had to put them in timeout for doing it because, as he told me, “You NEVER let them jump on the furniture!” and Donnie got on to them for doing it too. I gave them a little freedom and Donnie and E both looked at me like I had grown another head. “But the rule…the rule is always, ‘This is not a playground!'”

“I know,” I told them, “But sometimes I just want to…well…NOT say NO! all the time…”

It actually felt really good letting my kids do something I normally don’t allow. It made me feel better. This week I’ve felt like I nag a lot less. Like they’re having a lot more fun. Just because I let them jump off the couch and on to a bean bag. Could it kill them? Probably. Hell…kids are just little walking X-Rays anyway, aren’t they? My daughter had to have a CT Scan because she ran into a wall once. If they’re going to break a bone, they’re going to break a bone, my “The furniture is not a playground!” rule has never stopped injuries before, why would it stop them now?

Do you ever do that? Get sick of saying, “No! Stop doing that!” all the time and just spontaneously say, “FINE. Go ahead. Just don’t come crawling to me when you crack your skull open and spill brain matter everywhere.”

7 thoughts on “Trying To Not Always Be A “No!” Mom”

  1. ALL THE TIME. Well, not really all the time but yes. And my husband always acts like I’ve gone insane. We’re pretty relaxed parents though when it comes to things like climbing, jumping off stuff, etc. Last night I had one about 20 feet up in a tree, one fell off his BMX while trying to jump it and one finally registered and insured his own car. Only one needed bandages (these boys are 12, 13 & 17). I like to think I’m brave. But more likely just tired of saying no.

  2. Oh man, lately I have been the NO! mom all the time. I’ve been testy from work stress and hormones, and it’s making me short tempered, which is so unfair since I swear I have the easiest, coolest 3yr old in the world. So I’m working on that right now… easing up on things a bit.

  3. I am working on it. If the answer is no then I want to explain why so they can understand. I don’t want to be the person that says “No, because I said so!” because really, what does that teach the kid? Nothing. As an adult I like to ask questions and find out the reasoning behind the answer, so I expect my kids probably do too. Everyone needs a break once in a while to just be. Explore, have fun, enjoy life.

  4. I have to CONSCIOUSLY keep my mouth off auto-pilot-no, or else I’m no no no no no. It’s a constant struggle!

  5. I find myself saying no a lot more than I want to. Often it is because my son is being too noisy. I get a lot of migraines, and he makes a lot of noise, and the two don’t go well together. But I feel like I am constantly telling him the same thing you tell your kids: this is furniture, not a playground! Or not a trampoline! Sometimes I do tell him he can do something, like jump on my bed. But then I try to remember to tell him it is just this once!

  6. This is probably my least favorite part of mommy hood. Being the mean bad guy who says no. We only say no out of love!

  7. Being a parents we tend to take care our child. We are so overprotective that sometimes we neglect to give them freedom to play. The importance of play in child’s life is it helps them motivate their self esteem and they could easily adapt and learn new skills and perform better at school.

Leave a Reply