Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Parent’s Guide to Saying “No”

If you listen carefully, somewhere on earth, a parent is saying no.

The way the child responds depends on his back-story.

At the grocery store recently, I noticed a young mom shopping with her four kids. They swarmed around her, like honey bees around the queen. I remembered back. Shopping with four kids is what I used to do, and believe me, it takes courage.

Our paths first crossed in the produce section. The oldest child – a handsome boy of about nine – asked his mother, “Can I pick out some berries?”

She nodded calmly, granting permission.

The boy stood tall, as though proud of this privilege. Then, step, step, step, he hurried to make his selection.

I ran into the family a while later, in Bulk Foods.

The same little boy had gone off on his own, and picked up a box of gummy worms. Returning to his mother, he once again stood tall, full of confidence.

I couldn’t help thinking of the Wise Men, bearing gifts for the Christ child. My eyes drifted to where she stood. How would she respond this time? Continue reading