Never Say No Number 2

I believe it is not my job as a grandma to discipline my grandchildren.  Remember, all joy and no responsibility when it comes to grandchildren is my mantra.

I have a rule.  I will only say no to a grandchild when it is a matter of health and safety.  If a grandchild is about to take a flying leap off a high place, I will say no.  Otherwise, I believe it is the job of the parents to say no.  Let them take the heat.

Therefore, from the time each grandchild can understand, I explain that I will not say no to ANYTHING but health and safety.  I will tell them to FREEZE if they need to be disciplined and expect them to stay frozen until I can get a parent to tell them no.  I will say STOP but not no.  Now, when I do this, we all break out in giggles.  Children are so smart–they know exactly what they are doing that they should not be doing.

This does not work all the time, of course.  Sometimes parents are not present.  Sometimes parents are not available by telephone, skype, facetime, etc.  So my backup is to distract, say let’s discuss this later, say maybe but not now–in other words, creative avoidance to saying no.  I will say, let us do something else, until mom comes to tell you no.  More giggles.

Most of the time, no just does not come up.  After all, as grandparents, we ARE more patient.  We have more time.  If our grandchild wants to read a book fifteen times, what is better than holding a grandchild for that long while reading the book over and over again.  The best is when they read that very same book back to you as they have memorized it hearing it over and over again.

The funniest story about not saying no happened when our oldest grandson was five.  He asked me for a piece of chocolate (out of his mother’s hearing, of course).  I gave him a piece.  He asked for another. . . . and another. . . . and another. . . . ten pieces in all WHEN HE THEN THREW UP.  He looked at me and said Mema, you made me throw up.  You gave me too much chocolate.  I responded that he knows I will not say no.  I told him that he would just have to not ask me for too much chocolate, because if he asked me for ten pieces again, I would give them to him.  It turned out that he was ill and had temperature, so we will never  know if the chocolate alone made him throw up.  However, since that time, he has learned to control his own behavior.  Now when he asks for chocolate, after a few pieces, he will ask how many is that.  He will say that is enough for now.

Not intending to do so, I guess I taught an important lesson on self control.  Grandma also learned a lesson.  I do not have to say no!


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