Saying No



『Ms. Tree』『Ophi-kun's Survival Teacher』, Female
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Isn't it surprisingly hard to say No to things sometimes? Sometimes because you don't want to hurt someone else's feelings, others because you're feeling pressured, others because you're scared of what will happen if you say no... And some times plain and simply because you want to do something, but you know that you shouldn't, either because you can't spare the time for it or because it's more trouble than it's worth.

Using a simple example, I was invited to play a Mafia game recently... I love playing Mafia, and I aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalmost said yes... But... I just looked at my free time, how much I was working, how many things I wanted to do and was like... Ugh... Better not. It was still pretty hard to not join though! I'm glad I didn't join anyways however! \(^^)/

Other times it's not as simple as not joining a game though... As in... Dunno if you're aware, but I'm considering adopting a child for a while now, I don't have the financial stability to support a child atm however, so it's more of a plan for 3 or so years from now... I still wonder a lot about it though, how I'd behave as a mother, what things I'd do differently than my parents did, which things that they did that I now understand...

But there is one thing I vehemently disagree with them in child upbringing... And that is, punishing the child. I don't think anything is accomplished by doing that, I think it just makes the child scared of you, and doesn't really teach them that they shouldn't do X, it only teaches them that they shouldn't anger me, because they'll get punished if they do... And X angers me.

I personally believe that instead I should just talk things out to my child and find a way of making them understand it without needing to resort to punishment... Though there is the other side of the coin, that if you try giving too much positive reinforcement (as in, if you don't do X, I'll give you Y), you might make your child only do things if they are gaining something from it, which is... Not that good either, it's hard to find a middle ground.

And this gets to this blog's topic... How to say No to a child? I don't have any solid examples for this that I can give, so I'll use one that happened recently to me in a RolePlay. My character in the RP is a 27 years old catgirl (Aria) that was playing around in a festival with a 6 years old Mermaid Girl (Vhera), Aria was already considering adopting Vhera, who is an orphan, for a while now, and...

During the festival they found a pond, Vhera hasn't been in a proper place that she could play in the water ever since she got separated from her parents, so she was super duper excited to go play in the town's pond... Only, it's a fountain in the town plaza that is there for decorative purposes... Playing there is no good, you're not allowed to, so... Aria couldn't allow Vhera to play there, but she could feel how desperate Vhera was for playing there.

How to say No then? I mean... You could just say that Vhera can't do it, and No means No and she absolutely can't and that's that, but... Well, I absolutely hate this approach, so that's no good for me.
You could also calmly try talking to her about it and make her understand it, but... She's still a pretty young child and doesn't quite understand how the conventions of human cities work... It doesn't make sense for her as to why she can't go into a pond right in front of her, even if she was explained carefully and thoroughly about it... She could cry, or get very sad, or very angry over not being allowed to do what only seems fair and makes sense for her to do. It's... A complicated decision.
Or... You could try promising to take her to play by in a river at another day, which is essentially diverting her attention from playing in the fountain because she'll be allowed to play in the river later... Which was the option I chose, since it's the one that best avoided making her sad IMO.

And well... Isn't this a bad choice parenting-wise though? Vhera is trying to do something wrong, and instead of showing her that what she is doing is wrong, I instead opted to "bribe" her with another option that was more appealing to her, in order to avoid a confrontation in the now...

It's really hard, I don't have an answer for this, I don't want to make my child sad, I don't want to fight them, but I want to teach them properly, and I want them to understand what is wrong and what is right, and I want them to do what I consider the right thing without needing me to bribe them... Rather, I want them to understand my view of what is right and what is wrong, and I want them to do what they think is right after understanding my own view on it.

Times like this make me wonder... Am I really cut out to raising a child? Won't I become one of those parents that spoil the child to no end because the child can do whatever they want and I can't have a firm grasp on things? Because I can't say No to my own child when they need to hear a No?

I mean, sure, it's a RP situation, but Aria is a mostly self-insertion character, the way she acts is pretty much the same way I'd act... It hurts to look at my own character's actions and think "this is wrong" "I shouldn't be doing this kind of thing". It makes me doubt my own competence like that.

Maybe it's just a thing of maturity, maybe I'm still too young and will learn how to say no by the time I adopt a child, but... I don't know, I honestly feel I am more mature than most people of my age... I have a hard time believing that just time will make me learn how to do things right...

I want to learn though, I want to learn how to say No, I want to learn how to raise a child properly... And I wanna do it while still holding true to my beliefs of how to properly raise a child... I have a hard time finding a way to do that... But I really want to.

Life would be so much easier if everyone always agreed on everything, wouldn't it...?


    1. Clozdark Mar 14, 2019
      There's always imperfections in parenting,yet what parents needs to realize is the shape the child formed From the family and the society around them.
      Love make the child fluffy but brittle
      Pain make the child harden but durable
      It's unavoidable so shape it.
    2. AliceShiki Mar 13, 2019
      @Arexio It was more rhetoric in nature, but I'm really happy with the replies, so thank you!

      I'll be sure to check out the link! I already did some research on the matter a few years ago, but mostly in Portuguese, might be good to see a different country's approach to it~

      And yeah, corporal punishment isn't helpful at all IMHO, it just hurts the relationship. I won't ever do this one.

      And it was helpful, and thanks for the thought! ^^)/

      @TwilightForest Yeah, each child is different and needs to be treated differently no doubt~

      I actually discussed this a few times with my ex back when were still dating... How to handle situations in which we want the child to do or not do something, yet needing to convince them of it... Going from things like teaching them it's important to do their homework to convincing them they shouldn't smoke.

      At the end of the day it's important to get to know your own child and learning what is the best method to work with them~

      And yeah... Teaching that society has ways of punishing people who break rules and social accountability is important too...

      It's a shame many parents fail to teach their parents a lot of things...

      @R0 Well, I think the most important thing is to let them know that what they're doing is wrong. I don't personally agree with punishments, though part of that is mainly due to my personal experience because being punishment for doing something wrong never stopped me from doing those things... It just hurt my relationship with my parents instead, since I basically feared what would happen after I had already done the thingy I knew was wrong. (mainly getting into fights with brothers or in school I guess)

      So I personally disagree with it, but I suppose causing them certain inconveniences isn't necessarily wrong (as long as you of course tell them why you're doing so), it's just something I don't wish to do.
      At the end of the day, I guess dialogue is the most important part in any relationship, taking my time to talk to my child is important~
      ... Talking though, discussing, not giving sermons, sermons are useless... >.>

      As for giving birth, my uterus never developed actually, so it's not really an option for me. That, and my hopes for my love life are pretty low, so I'll probably be a single mother anyways.
      TwilightForest and Arexio like this.
    3. TwilightForest Mar 13, 2019
      @R0, what sort of inconveniences do you suggest? I've seen parents restricting screen time, taking away story books (in the past) and mobile phones, restricting play time and even denying them their favourite food. These only make the child either too stubborn or too fearful of authorities. The worst scenario is they sometimes start to hate the parents. I absolutely do not support such measures. One must always remember that a child's mind registers things more vividly. They are not thick-skinned like most adults.
    4. R0 Mar 13, 2019
      It is absolutely necessary to punish a child. However instead of hurting them, do stuffs that only giving them inconveniences. Make sure that they know what they have done to be punished.

      Why would you want to adopt a child? Just make one.
      AliceShiki likes this.
    5. TwilightForest Mar 13, 2019
      @Arexio, noted your points.
      Alice, it's really nice that you have thought of adopting a child. My best wishes for you.
      I read your blog thoroughly and found that you really have thought deeply about how to raise a child properly. You will make a great parent:)
      Tbh there's no hard and fast rule for raising a kid. Each child has a distinct personality (believe me, it's true) and you have to treat them accordingly. It's best to watch them carefully and find out what works best. In short, a parent needs to evolve constantly with the child, and this can be quite a game of patience and perseverance sometimes:)
      I agree with the way you behaved in that particular situation. That was the most practical approach. Don't think about bribing. What you did was part of reward system and is fully acceptable from any moral point of view.
      I'll say only one thing from my POV. Even if you do not punish your child, let them know, rather explain to them whenever the situation arises, that the society has a way of punishing people who break rule. It's very important for the maturity and social accountability of a person. Sadly enough, I see that parents of my generation often fail to teach this to their kids.
      Thank you for the blog, it was a nice read:)
      Matsurika, villainess and AliceShiki like this.
    6. Arexio Mar 13, 2019
      Hey Alice,

      I think it's awesome that you're considering adoption. Kids who grow up in orphanages just don't have the same life outcomes or futures as their peers. Parenting's also a very amazing and fulfilling experience (or so I'm told).

      I'm not sure if you were truly looking for some actual answers or if this was more rhetorical in nature, but as I studied a little bit about this stuff, I feel obligated to share what the American experts think. Discipline, not punishment, is what they also recommend.

      Here's a great link from child psychologists/pediatricians giving some excellent tips if there's ever a situation like this. They even divide the strategies up by age range and everything.

      Save the word,"no," for the most important issues, like safety. Limit the need to say "no" by putting dangerous or tempting objects out of reach. ((They mean this more for a baby btw but it still applies.))

      Anyway, the AAP (group behind that site) is an organization that almost all American pediatricians are a part of, so you can trust the credibility of that website.

      Oh and I'm sure you know this, but corporal punishment like spanking and stuff, is one of the worst ways you can raise a kid. Using words to inflict emotional damage also falls under verbal abuse. There's more on the site about both, but it's definitely not good for their long-term mental health.

      I hope that was more helpful than pedantic...I think you'd be a great parent if that means anything. :blogdog: