Thursday, January 12, 2012

Art of saying NO

Speaking for myself here, I tend to agree upon things sometimes and really end up with having no bandwidth to do the task. It may be a favour or may be something that you own and have to end up giving it to the other. Be it at work or home or social circle it just takes a NO sometimes that can be your savior. But when it comes to the Gen X or Gen Y, i.e our kids generation, I mostly see that the kids say NO when they have to. They are sharing only to a certain extent. They are so choosy about what they want to do at a very young age. They know who can give you what at what times and how to achieve it. But I was proven wrong when it came to Tiny. She does all the above at home and does make her brother Little dance to her tunes. When it comes to her friends, I swear the scene changes totally.

Example 1:
In our apartment complex, she has tons of friends who actually come home take her new cycle to go cycling. Sometimes they are in the learning phase, but they still use her cycle. Not only that I see Tiny riding some of their old bikes. I ask her why and she says, "Amma but she is my friend...". So.... Why can't you say no?? or just give it for a few minutes and take it back. But that never happens.

Example 2:
She gets a new pair of slippers. A friend of hers has an exact similar pair like hers but may be a little used. The friend of hers comes with an idea of exchanging slippers and they do that. Few days later she needs a new pair again because it looks old and all worn out.

Now my thought is that parents(of the said kids) in the complex all seem to be affordable and easily buy bikes and slippers or things like that. It is not that they cannot. But what upsets me is why my girl has to be so submissive with her friends and do whatever necessary to please them. In general i am trying to teach her in a way i can coax her and also not make her feel bad about anything she has done. I also do not want her to stop sharing and behave like a closed wardrobe. Just that she should learn the art of saying No when she is supposed to.


  1. This is a tough one. Balancing her generous nature with the ability to say no! I guess (or atleast one hopes) that over time, they will learn to distinguish between genuine requests and unfair requests, also between genuine friends and not-so-good ones. IT's hard to know when to intervene and when not to, how mch to say and how much to draw back.

  2. True Aparna, It is hard for them especially their age. I am sure once they grow up they will tend to find the best of friends. I know sometimes i have to stand by her like a police and i feel bad for her.

  3. Reminded of me :-( the only thing that would work is that she learns it herself. When my mom used to tell me not to be too generous with friends, I used to think with age mom has gone cynic. You know that is the age when we think friendship is eternal. Now I realize.

  4. True Akshatha. I suppose all of us do that, but when we see our kids doing it, it hurts. I am sure she will learn as she grows. Just feel that she should not be hurt in a later time.

  5. I had almost completed a long comment on this which was eaten up by blogger :( Anyways I meant to say that that's very generous of Tiny but more than that, it's very irresponsible of those parents to not have their kids return Tiny's new slippers or her new cycle. It makes me kind of mad and probably I would have intervened if something similar was to happen to say V. You are being too sweet but then may be you are doing a good thing by letting Tiny make her own decisions. Its always so confusing parenting.

  6. Very difficult to draw a line and not cross it, parenting that is. Needs to learn differences between good and bad friends and choose them.

  7. DD's almost 8 and she still does this all the time. There's this inherent need in her to please all her friends, or she fears they won't be friends with her anymore. I've repeatedly told her that people who flock to you for your stuff cannot be your friends but she doesn't get it. Let me know when you teach Tiny how you managed to convince her. I'll use the same strategy with DD.


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