A few days ago, a friend and I were talking about telling kids no. As parents, we can't say "yes" to everything, but I don't want to be the parent who says "because I said so" when my kids ask why I've said no to something.
I think it's important to give explanations to our children about things. Good things, bad things and in between things. I like to know the why behind things and I think my children deserve the same.
In our home, we encourage our children to ask questions and we try our best to answer any they ask the best that we can and in a way they can understand. Even if it sometimes means Googling a question.
When I tell the boys no, I always like to tell them why. Now of course they don't always want to know why; some things like no, you can't have a Reese Cup while I'm putting your plate on the table for dinner don't warrant an explanation, but some things do.
I'm going to use an example from earlier this week at our house.
Here's the scene: We've eaten dinner, Kevin and I are cleaning up and K.C. asks me if he can help me make some chocolate bricks for his birthday party (We're having a LEGO party Sunday and I've been brick making all week.). I tell him yes.
K.C. starts stirring the melted chocolate and spooning it into the mold. At this point, Kaden gets really upset because he isn't helping make the bricks and he wants to. (Kaden is my big helper. He and I had already made several batches of chocolate bricks among other items for K.C.'s party the day before.) I told him no, that K.C. was doing it and he could when his brother was finished.
He didn't quite understand that no and got upset.
I decided to break it down with an example. He loves to play with the blocks at school. I told him to imagine he was building a really tall tower and only had a few more blocks to go before it was complete when his teacher told him to move away and not finish because another kid wanted to play with the blocks. We talked about how that wasn't fair. Through this explanation, he understood that he was going to get his turn and that I wasn't not wanting him to help, it was just K.C.'s turn.
This may be an usual example, but it happened recently and prompted a discussion my friend and I had.
We generally have very obedient boys and for the most part, don't have to offer a lot of explanations to why or why not something can or can't be done. That said, I still think it's important for children to understand why. I also think it encourages them to always ask questions which will serve them well throughout their lives.
Do you explain yourself to your kids?