How saying NO affects kids : #YESMom vs Mom

How saying NO affects kids – The other day I was looking at a video shared by a mom in our Mommy group. The video was in short emphasizing the need for mums to be strict and telling kids their limits for their own good. It said that children of strict mothers turn out to be more successful than children of those who are supposed to be lenient.

This got me thinking, “Am I a strict mother”? I realised that while I do believe in setting limits and letting children know that they cannot get away with everything, I do not say ‘NO’ to most things. I believe in saying ‘YES’ more often than not.

YesMom vs. Mom

 

So, I was discussing this with my friend and she said that I am a gentle parent. Perhaps I am or MAYBE NOT! I certainly believe that there should be limits to everything and I tell my child categorically when I feel she is doing something wrong or if I feel something could be dangerous for her. But I still say YES to a lot of day to day stuff.

So, when I saw this video about how kids can get affected when we stop them from doing simple things, it reinforced my beliefs about not saying NO to most things.

 

And yes! I have been judged for being a #YESMom. I have received sideward glances because I let my daughter hang upside down on the monkey bars, or when I let her play in the sand or even climb a tree or jump in puddles left after the rain.

I have been told things like, “Arre, tumko chinta nahi hoti, wo beemar pad jayegi” or “Badi lenient mom ho tum”. Most of the times, I just let these comments pass with a smile. I am a complete believer of ‘To each her own’, so I try not to judge others, but do not enjoy being judged myself too.

I also feel most requests that you want to say NO to can be turned into YES with a simple tweak. So, if my daughter wants her favourite chocolate, I say Yes, we can have it once a month. If she wants to watch a particular TV program, she has to let go of something else, because she knows too much of TV is bad for her. I try not to say ‘NO’ outright, unless it is something which might be dangerous for her like once she wanted to make an omlette all by herself including frying. We bargained on breaking the egg, mixing the seasoning and beating, even putting the egg in cold frying pan, but I took over after that while she watched.

So here are my reasons for being a YESMom.

Effects on children when you say “YES” more often.

  • Children learn to explore their surroundings without fear.
  • Children have more self confidence because they know parents trust their judgement.
  • Children do not miss out on life experiences with friends. One of my favourite memories of school time is how my friends and I used to walk back from school jumping in puddles after rain. It is a priceless memory and never fails to bring a smile back to my face. I do not want my daughter to look back at her childhood with regret that she never jumped in puddles or climbed a tree. These experiences are worth much more than a bruised knee or wet shoes.
  • Children learn their own limits after making mistakes and learning from them.
  • The biggest life lesson that they perhaps learn is that it is OK to take risks and make mistakes.
  • It also teaches them that it is alright to fail and try again if you are not able to achieve something in the first attempt. In our zeal to protect them, we end up giving them a message that they must follow instructions that we give and be successful at everything.

Are you a #YESMom too? What effect do you think saying YES to kids more often has on kids?

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21 Responses to “How saying NO affects kids : #YESMom vs Mom”

  1. Thank you Priya for this writeup. I am quite often told by friends and family that I am a lenient mother and that I will spoil my son just because I let him be. He is a normal 7 years old who loves playing and having fun. As long as he is not harming anyone or himself, it should not be anyone’s business.

    Reply
    • Priya Sachan

      Absolutely Smita! Don’t let what others are saying deter you from what you think is right for your kid.

      Reply
  2. Wonderful write up..I can definitely say i am an yes mom too and i have noticed that by saying yes to my daughter she does not become adamant but knows her limits in terms of screen time and automatically gives it to me in 10 min…

    Reply
    • Priya Sachan

      I agree. Saying yes does not mean you agree to unreasonable demands. It just means they are responsible for setting their own limits.

      Reply
  3. I think everyone needs their own limits. There definitely is need for parents to say ‘no’ to their kids. I know I do a lot of that. I loved your perspective on this.

    Reply
  4. I am with you. I too end up saying yes more than no, because I want my child to explore, make mistakes, learn and also to trust me. Yes I am told that I am too lenient, I pamper him too much, etc. But I have come to realize that he is my child and I need to make my own decisions without being affected by how others judge me.

    Reply
    • Priya Sachan

      Way to go, Mahak. We often change our parenting styles to satisfy others who would judge us anyway. Best to follow your own instincts, After all, none knows your kid like you do. <3

      Reply
  5. I loved reading this. Thou try and predominantly let her make the choices and be responsible for them unless its for her safety of course. this was eye opening

    Reply
  6. I am a yes mom and its tough being a yes mom believe me but still there is something in me which say let him be …i believe for discipline strictness is not required..

    Reply
    • Priya Sachan

      True Priya! I am glad we feel the same way about this. Strictness is not the only way to discipline.

      Reply
  7. Oh, how I too loved to jump into puddles. I am both a Yes and No mom both in moderation.`I agree with the benefits that you have mentioned, I also kinda agree with the mom who says that disciplining kids is very important.

    Reply
    • Priya Sachan

      Yes, the simple joys of our childhood. 🙂 It is important to strike a balance.

      Reply
  8. This was a very good read. I feel i also did not supervise everything my child did as he learned to walk or crawl. I do believe it let him develop in his own time and without any fears. As he has grown I need to think more and many a times I do say NO. Converting it into a yes will be so enriching instead. Thanks for the ideas.

    Reply
  9. Liked reading your perspective on this. I try to be a YesMom as much as I can but there comes a point when I have to use a No. It’s just not easy to be a YesMom always!

    Reply
  10. I would say I’m not a yes or a no mum but agree with you to let the child be a child and not curtailing their freedom of expression and curiousity as that leads to learning.
    Saying a no like you said with cooking an omlette or climbing up on things which could lead to them hurting themselves will get a definite and strict no from me.
    No is definitely needed as much as a yes . There needs to be a fine balance.

    Reply
  11. I completely agree..we are really protective of our kids these days. Saying a Yes is as important as a no. But its all about balance too which is difficult for moms.

    Reply
    • Priya Sachan

      I know. It’s a fine line to walk. But who said motherhood is easy. 🙂

      Reply

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