I'm wrong, right?

So I have this little problem. I have a very difficult time saying 'no' to my children.

And an even bigger problem I have is when my husband tries to discipline our children (by saying no) and I step in and say something like, 'it's okay, he can continue drawing on the table/throwing food across the room/yelling at the top of his lungs because I just hate when my children get upset! I know it is wrong to go against what the other parent is saying to the child - I know it is wrong, yet I continue to do this on a daily basis.


Husband: Son, come to the kitchen table to eat your breakfast, please.

Me: No, it's okay, he can eat in the family room because he is playing so nicely.


This is very wrong, right?


Husband: Son, it is time for bed. I'll read you a book - which one do you want me to read to you?

Me: Why don't you read him these 5 books? I know he loves these!


What is wrong with me?

When we are at my inlaws, my baby loves throwing their phones and remote control on the floor and laughing to get a reaction. They don't love it when he does this. They tell him very nicely, 'No'. What do I do? Well, I see that he is upset and so I hand him the phones/remote control again. And what does he do? Throws them on the floor again. Oopsie! My bad... seriously! I try to say no, and if I sense that my children are getting upset, I give in. Time after time.

So my question is: how do you say no to your child(ren)? And do you feel bad doing it? Do you go against what your husband says when he is talking to the children? If you disagree with something your husband has said to your child(ren), do you wait until the two of you are alone to talk about it? Or do you talk about it in front of the kids?

I know I have to be more firm with my boys. I just need to figure out a way to do it that won't make me feel like I'm being a bad mom! I also know they need a few more rules in their lives because, otherwise, they're in for a rude awakening when they go to school!
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Chelle said...

Okay, is it bad that I'm laughing when reading this?

Because I'm the softie, too! Except if she bites me. Or hits me. Then I'm not the softie. But she seriously looks at me if my husband tries to tell her no or to do something and I tell her...it's okay, etc...

So bad! But I think we'll eventually get the hang of it...right?

Jessica - This Is Worthwhile said...

Ha! Quite the dilemma. I do the ol' bait and switch. No, baby, you can't stab the fork in the outlet, but here's a wooden spoon you can bang around (seriously) while I cover this exposed plug. Or, in your example, No, baby, we don't throw remote controls around, but here's a pillow/ball/set of keys/a "dummy" remote (you know, one just for him) we can toss around. Kids aren't going to understand WHY they can't touch and destroy everything in their path, so I find it MUCH easier to just give them things they CAN destroy and places for them to do it.

Re: your hubby, that's something you two will have to hash out. Good luck!

Quirkymom said...


I am considering buying these audio lessons to help deal with my son. I bought one to do potty training and it was great! I listened to the free audio lesson and it sounds good.

Good luck! Check it out, he addresses saying no even in the free lesson - just touches on it!

skichik79 said...

ahh lou !! you're such a softy ... im such the bag guy at my place ... my man is the one that give sin most of the time so she will stop crying or whining .. but me im a tough mom ... I mean I praise her when she does good but I see when she tries to pull a fake cry to get what she wants .. she is a mini me all the way and I know everything i tried on my parents therefore I know her tricks ! :P if you don't want to say no let your hubby do the disciplining and go in the next room ... or like Jessica said offer safer alternatives ....

Lola said...

There's really no way to do it without feeling 'bad' in the beginning as it will be something new. Just think about what you are doing for them that will help them turn into great young man. Setting boundaries, being firm. If you always give in and are too soft, they might not respect you as much later.....Think about this-it may give you the strength to do it. IT definitely is easier to 'give in.' We all do it at some point and abou tsome things but if we do it all the time, the kids do take on 'monster-like' qualities and no if's, and's or but's about it, they end up spoiled and that becomes harder to keep up with as they get older and their demands become more sophisticated:):):) sigh....:)LO

Loukia said...

Thanks everyone for your feedback! Jessica, I think I will try this approach and see what happens. :)

I know I have to 'toughen up'... I'll keep you all updated on my progress!

Rebecca said...

It's hard to say no, but yet, I do it quite freely ;)

I think there's a difference between saying 'no' just because you feel you should and saying 'no' because it's the right thing to do to teach them not to hurt themselves/manners/how to play nicely etc.

Don't feel guilty! If it's 'kids being kids' (loud laughing/happy screams etc) then gentle is best anyway. But some stuff has to be no. Obviously, you know that, that's why you're posting this! ;)

Julie said...

I can't say I feel bad when I say no to my little guy. I believe that kids need bounderies and this is how you set them. There is no shortage of giggles and snorts and rolling around on the floor in squeals of laughter, but when he is doing something that isn't nice, doesn't fly with me or could hurt him/someone, he gets a firm no, plus explination why it's not a good thing. We have even started with time outs. They always end with a big hug and kiss. Maybe try Skichick's advice and just leave the room if you can't do and and let hubby continue with his discipline. Something to discuss tonight after the boys are in bed. Good luck!!

feather said...

Just because they get angry/upset when you say no doesn't mean it is going to stick with them forever.

Seriously, they'll very likely forget what happened within 5 minutes. Just be firm. For the record, I'm a softie too. But -- we've also had episodes where one of our children has missed her t-ball practice because she wouldn't eat her oranges. Once we said that she had to eat them or she couldn't go, we had to follow through.

A Crafty Mom said...

I am very pro-discipline, something I learned in teaching far before I learned it as a parent. I've read more parenting books than I'd like to admit, but one of my recent favourites is called Negotiation Generation - Take Back Your Parental Authority Without Punishment. It's written by Lynne Reeves Griffin, and she also has a web site. It's been very helpful for us, and is a form of discipline I really embrace.

Good luck :)

Loukia said...

Thanks Shannon, I'm going to look into that book. Hopefully I can pop into Chapters on my lunch break.

You know, I start off by saying 'no' but then I always end up giving in. So not good!

Dal said...

I have NO problems saying no to Gabrièle. She is a huge Diva so if I don't lay down the law now, we will be in deep trouble.