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...?