That struck me in light of what I see in our society as it relates to not only adults but also our children.
There are many individuals who hear the word “no” and think it cannot possibly be directed at them. So many children today do not understand that no means no.
Children who don’t understand “no” have not seen its impact in their formative years.
When my brothers, sister and I and all of our friends were younger and our parents said “no,” they meant no. That meant conversation was over, stop what you are doing, don’t do that and, sometimes, “I have had enough.”
I am one of that new breed of parents who believe that we were not listened to enough as children. So I listen to what my children have to say, allowing them time to be expressive and even to tell me they disagree. However, when I have listened and the words that come out of their mouths could impact a situation negatively, my “no” stands as the final arbiter.
I become the parent I thought was clueless and hear my mothers’ voice come out of my own mouth — and I love it.
I often see children speaking badly and parents indulging and saying “no” over and over and over again. Parents allowing children to speak too loudly, to interrupt what we call in our community “grown folks talk,” to continue to do the same behavior that infects the society in which we live.
“No” is often times a protection against what could happen. Children are blessings. If you have a child who may have some challenges, that is all the more reason to begin early to teach with compassion that the boundaries adults set forth are for their protection.
As adult caretakers, our “no” to children should tell them that we care for them and that we only want the best for them. One day they will get it — it is not a requirement that they get it now.
The responsibility of the adult is that we don’t bow down to what our children want or say and uphold those who intend to protect, guide and
nurture our children to greatness.
• Yolande Barial is a Tracy resident and mom. Her column appears every so often in the Tracy Press.