Love Your Child? Tell Them “No”!

Brian Thatcher
3 min readJul 1, 2021

It seems like from the time they began to talk, my kids have never stopped asking my wife and me for things. It’s always, “Dad, can I have a cookie?” or “Mom, can I have a snack?” or, after Mom says, “No”, “Dad, can I have a snack?” The requests are never ending.

As a rookie parent, I first began to give in to these requests. My thinking was, “If I give them a cookie, they’ll shut up.” Because the goal of any parent is to have quiet at home, right? Anyway, I was initially proud of my clever thinking and thought I had this parenting thing figured out. Turns out I was wrong.

As time progressed, the kids started to request more and more things. One cookie wasn’t enough. Now they wanted two cookies or a cookie and a snack. Then two cookies and a snack. Then two cookies, a snack, and a nice cheese tray to finish the experience off. I found that the more I said, “Yes”, the requests grew in frequency and caliber. Something had to be done, but what. Fortunately, I married a good woman who knew just what to do. She started telling them “No”.

This concept may be difficult for some parents (like me). After all, don’t we want to be the “Cool Mom and Dad” who all the kids like? Sure we do. Nobody like a party pooper. However, nobody like a spoiled brat either and that’s where “Yes” kids almost always seem to end up. A child that grows up hearing “Yes” will have a very hard time accepting the fact that the rest of the world generally doesn’t give a flying hoot about them and will have no problem telling them “No”…