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Saying "No" to My Kids a Bit Less Often

Sometimes, what needs to be done is having fun

by Kellyann Carney  |  1803 views  |  2 comments  |        Rate this now! 

My two sons are the light of my life.  I love them more than any words can possibly express.  This is not a news flash for the fellow moms reading this.  We all know that there is nothing we would not do for our children.  However, there are times when we have to step back from the every day craziness to figure out just what we are teaching our kids.  Between getting them to school, laundry, housework, cooking dinner, volunteering at the school, cleaning and the general things we do every day just to get through we can looe sight of the real job at hand: raising this tiny person to be a happy and healthy adult .

The other day, I was washing dishes and my 19-month-old son was just dying to see what I was doing in the sink.  He thought, “She has been standing there and ignoring me for quite a bit so that must be a whole lot of FUN!”  He literally grabbed a chair and dragged it over so he could play like Mommy.

My first reaction was to tell him no and to leave me be so I could get this chore done.  There was a look in his face that made me stop and think.  Why can’t he help me wash the dishes a bit?  I was almost done.  Just a few cups and utensils left.  What was the harm? Aidan got such a kick out of playing with the water and the bubbles and filling the cups just to dump them out again.  It actually made washing dishes a bit amusing. It may have taken me longer to finish but the smile on his face was worth it.

Something similar happened with my 6-year-old son, RJ.  He came home from kindergarten just not a happy camper.  It was a long day at the end of a long week and he wanted to play a board game with me.  Again, my first reaction was no.  I had gotten held up at the grocery store that day and there was a bunch of laundry still needed to be folded, plus I had to start dinner and mate that huge pile of socks at the end of my bed.

There was something about RJ’s face that told me he needed some time to hang with his mom.  I made a deal with him that if we played a game he would help me mate the socks when we were done.  For dinner that night we had soup and sandwiches instead of the meatballs I had planned on.  RJ even picked a game that we could play with his little brother so all three of us had a fun time.  We laughed and laughed, and I think that it made it that much easier for him to get up and off to school the next day.

About the Author

One woman's search of what to be when she grows up.

Read more by Kellyann Carney

2 comments so far...

  • Nice article. I have two boys as well. A day goes by so quick! The articles reminds us that sometimes a day is not about the to-do list but time spent with family.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by SK on 17th January 2008

  • So well put. I am constantly trying to prove that I am super-mom. whenever I get on a kick like this, after a few days I realize that everyone is more stressed and actually having LESS fun. My daughter is cranky from having to sit in her chair more often, I'm snapping at my husband, and he's wondering what hit him. It's so important to remember that we really do need to go with the flow sometimes. The laundry, dishes, and other things that we stress over will still be there!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by mamajama on 14th January 2008

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