One of the most important lessons I have learned about child-training is that we have to teach our children to understand and respond to “No.” It’s the foundation of teaching them to obey.
Right now I am re-training and conditioning my children to understand this: no means no. And there are consequences if they don’t obey. After not obeying “no” the first time, they hear it again accompanied with pain, to teach them that lack of obedience brings consequences.
Its so important for them to be able to understand that one word. Its powerful. It protects them. When my kids understand what my “no” means, it brings them freedom to do things that would be dangerous for other kids. I don’t have to be afraid of meltdowns or accidents in public, because I can be confident that whatever I say, they will do.
Right now I am reading a book about hearing the voice of God, and in it the author makes the observation, if you cannot hear a ‘no,’ you will have a hard time hearing God at all or believing that what you think you heard is in fact from God. Without understanding God, you will never be confident that you heard when he tells you “yes.”
And I am reminded again that its just as important for me as an adult to understand and respond to “no.” Sometimes the “no” is more powerful than a “yes.”
When I am flooded with needs inside our house and requests from the outside of doing, serving, seeing, and visiting, its easy to be overwhelmed. My own desires and feelings of responsibility creep in and muddy the waters. I have to understand the language of God when he says, “No.” Otherwise, I get distracted and sunk by good things. Hurt. Or worse.
I never thought that a “No” would bring so much freedom, and now I have more vision than ever in training my children.