Monday, December 27, 2010

Sometimes Saying "No" Means "I Love You."

Hey Lovelies!

Most of the time, I'm a total softy when it comes to doing things for Aiden. I've written about this before. As Aiden began to get a bit more independent at pre-school and with babysitters, he [and I] struggled with the fact that he wasn't just as independent at home. With me. Sigh.

Sometimes I feel like it's a constant uphill battle to get him to do things on his own that I know he could do... on his own.

He's fantastic at cleaning up after himself -- putting his toys away, putting his school bag where it belongs, putting his clothes in his hamper, amongst some things. At home, the independence stops there.

When it comes to doing other things like untying his shoe laces or unbuttoning his shirts, he's been asking me to help him a little more than I'd like him to. Yea, I said it. While I would normally love to help the lil man out, as a busy single mom, sometimes I just can't.

So these past couple weeks, I've been getting better at encouraging his independence. When the kid whines while asking me to help him, firmly, but re-assuringly, I've been saying "no" more often.

And it goes a little something like this:

Aiden, no. I trust that you can do this. And not only do I believe that you can do it, I think you're so awesome that you can do this even better than I could have done it when I was your age. So, no. I can't help you right now. But you can do it by yourself.

And so he tries. And tries. Until he succeeds. All by his lonesome.

And then we both cheer and high-five each other. We celebrate his success.

My little speech has worked wonders as my lil guy grows more into a self-sufficient, competent, and independent little fella.

And ever so often, I plan to continue to encourage him with my little "tough love" speech. The boy's gotta learn, right?



  1. You're so cute. And Aiden's so lucky. That's all I have to say. :)

  2. Aw, good for you Mama! I think there are a lot of parents who still need work on this one. I know it can be so hard sometimes, but it is also so necessary, for everyone involved :)

  3. You are absolutely right. I had to learn that with my own son. You figured it out before I did. As mothers our inclination is to care for our children at every step but the hardest part is realizing that if we don't give them independence we are holding them back. Good for you! He is such a handsome little man!

  4. I love this post and how you break down No to cute. Your design is super cute. Aiden is so cute and love his little outfit!

  5. I love your speech so awesome. His lucky and his going to be a great man one day because you did baby him so much.

  6. Saying no is absolutely the right thing to do in many cases. Problem is, it's so much harder for parents than yes! Good for you for sticking to your guns- especially with a boy. He'll grow up into a good, independent man. Best kind!

  7. Fantastic speech! I have a similar one in the works for my 2 yr old that is way too smart for his own good LOL

  8. What a great "tough-love" speech! :) It is definitely important to encourage them to try again and again at things they have yet mastered. I do this daily with my son when it comes to tying his shoes!

  9. Before I really comment let me say that Aiden rocks because his mom's style ROCKS! Ok now on to independence, you are doing fine. Don't feel bad that you are encouraging it. We don't want to wake up one day and find that our little guys (ok so KT isn't little, lol) are the only ones we served and served and served = no life and the guys are super dependent on their mom - mommie's boy...Nope, now way, we can't do that to them! My guy gets the same speech tweaked a bit but it works. So glad we've found each other's blog :)



  11. I think that "tough love" in awesome, I totally agree with talking to them as individuals and you are right on in showing him that he is more than capable. Good Job!

  12. Yay for you because I know a few kids who have been completely handicapped by their parents. It's really sad because the simplest things such as putting a pair of shoes seems impossible for them to do and they're almost twice Aiden's age!! My mom is forever telling me that I'm making Moo too independent by not jumping up to do everything for her.

    But then I have to point out that she didn't do everything for us and she stops her fussing. While I'd like to think that I'll be around forever, I know that I could leave this earth at any minute. And I want to leave Moo as prepared to take care of herself as she can be. I think that when it comes to the basics like brushing her teeth, feeding herself, putting on her clothes, etc she needs those skills. I applaud you for your tough love.

  13. Another great post!!! I think you are absolutely doing the right thing for Aiden by telling him no. :D

  14. I think it's wonderful that you're encouraging your son's independence! I've had the same struggle with my son, as he wants me to do simple things for him at him but I can't always do it with 2 other little ones to care for. Keep it up girl! Thanks for the follow, I wanted to follow you and show some love back. :)


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