About the Author

Dr. Alisha Reed is a licensed pharmacist and a widow mom who believes that self-care is non-negotiable. She is the creator of the lifestyle brand FLY with Alisha Reed, moderates a widow support group, and hosts The Fly Widow Podcast.

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  1. I responded to my daughter at a very early age with “that is not a good decision” I didn’t want to say no all the time. I felt that “no” didn’t always have the details of the why. So by saying ‘that is not a good decision” she had to think about what was or wasn’t a good choice in whatever she was attempting to do. It also made my “no” very firm. I used it for safety, protection and concrete flat out NO lol. Thanks for sharing

  2. I struggle with this constantly. I am teaching my daughter the same way, to be opinionated and not settle. The problem is that she now have something to say all the time. I am now trying to show her that something like that can be considered disrespectful. It is such a thin line that you need to be mindful of. Your explanation is needed in certain situations as well as your opinions!

  3. This is not pleasant! And, it isn’t entirely on subject as with a young child. However, our reasons for saying “NO”, were explained to our children from a young age. The rule in our house is no tattoos! We raised 3 children with special needs after having 4 grown children from previous marriages. So, we are near 70 years old. The two boys are now 24 and 26 and the girl is 19 next month. They all live with us. You guessed it! She got tattooed 11 days ago! I am so angry she lied to me, she hid it from me , and she tried to justify it with, “I knew you would say “NO”. Now here I was having to do something about this disrespectful behavior! The problem is that the consequence for getting a tattoo is you move out! She is not able to go even to a relative or friend! She understood my reasoning behind no tattoos in my house. She didn’t like my or my husband’s answer of “NO” to getting tattoos.
    So now after explaining it to her for all her life, she did not take “no” for our answer even with an explanation! The only recourse I have since she can’t move out (she has special needs and a rare disabling disease) is to deny her privileges. Our “NOs” had always been explained. We have a young adult dependent who just runs over “NO” with an explanation and does whatever she wants!

  4. Great article! Yes, as a parent, I also explain my decisions. I do this because I want them to understand how I process in the event it helps them. And, I aslo like for them to know that “no” is not my default, it’s thoughtful. On the flip side, I also give them space to tell me “no” with explanation. It’s important to me that they grow up practicing boundaries. This means, I have to provide a safe space for the boundaries to be practiced.

  5. Sometimes I explain immediately, if the situation poses risks, danger, uneasiness with me. Often, I ask instead, “What do you think I will say? Why do you think I would say that?” or, “Hmmm, let’s think about that one”. That way, even if I already know the answer will be no, they get the opportunity to slow down and think the situation out, see from both perspectives, and I get an idea of their thought process, or if they’ve thought it out at all. Very rarely is my answer just no, I usually give what I think is a logical reason behind the denial, but I have learned with a few of my teens that they don’t typically care about the why at the time they receive a no. In those cases, I remind them that they will be told no in life and won’t always get an answer, and they need to be okay with that sometimes. Although there are times when a denial deserves an explanation, like with the job denial.

    I have 6 children, and 3 grands now with 2 more on the way. I actually handle things (answer) differently with them all; based on their individual personalities. I’m a Special Education Teacher as well, lol! I just really feel like there is no one way fits all with parenting. Also, while it pays to be flexible, I also feel that consistency, set boundaries, and “behavior plans” so to speak, are all just as important. I definitely let them deal with consequences and “learn the hard way”, if they choose to do what they want anyway. I then use that as an opportunity to reflect on what they “could” have done differently and see if they learned/understood why I said no to begin with.

  6. I grew up during a time when children didn’t have a voice. Once i became a mom, I told my children they could say or ask anything as long as they were respectful. This approach served me well. My children, in my mind, didn’t have to swallow their feelings of hurt, disappointment, or anger. One of my sons later told me that sometimes when he wanted to talk he was not looking for input. So I later learned to ask if I were giving guidance or just listening. This was another great article.

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