Book Review; No: Why Kids – of All Ages – Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It by David Walsh, PhD
Dr. Walsh provides an approach for parents to change their parenting techniques through anecdotes stories, purpose in parenting and a variety of techniques. He has a common-sense approach that will be appreciated when faced with the far-fetched ideas of children. The book isn’t really about saying No as much as a resource to improve the parent/child relationship and a manual to help develop children into happy and productive adults. Saying No just happens to be a lost art and is the key to success in our relations with our children.
Included in No: Why Kids – of All Ages – Need to Hear It and Ways Parents Can Say It is a chapter centered on children with special-needs, such as, ADHD, autism, aspergers, sensory processing disorder and others. Any parent who has a child whose brain is wired differently than the majority of children will be grateful for the added insight offered for their children’s unique set of circumstances. With the increase of diagnosed cases of special-needs children everyone can benefit from a greater understanding and having the ability to extend more empathy.
When I was a new mom I once expressed to another mom that I said No first because it was easier to change a no to a yes rather than the other way around. Upon another occasion a friend, who was an older mother, told me she said Yes as often as possible so that when she said No it would really mean something.
Now I that I have been a mother for 17 years I would say I use No for the important things. Here are actual examples in our life : Oh, you want to blow bubbles in the bathtub? Sounds great! You want to build an architectural feature out of straws? Terrific, go for it. You want to make a painting that is 8′ long? Okay, I’ll take you to Home Depot and you can buy the materials you want with your Christmas money. So you say a bunch of friends want to go snowboarding and you need my suburban to take them? I’m okay with that since you have been so responsible, lets practice how to use the 4 wheel drive and then go have fun. You want to be out til 2am because all your friends will be at a party? NO, see you home by your curfew. But, Mom! See you home on time (said cheerfully)! Hopefully, you get the idea.
Dr. Walsh shows how we, as parents, have become a doormat to our children, the media’s teaching of our children and the pressure to be friends with our kids. One of the greatest gifts we can give our children is teaching them skills to become a happy adults, knowing how to delay gratification to accomplish greater achievements in the future.
From the chapter, Styles of Parenting, there is a list of questions asking about how you were parented to better understand why you parent in the style you use, permissive, authoritarian or balanced.
Here are some of the questions:
How much time did your parents spend with you?
Were the rules clear or unclear in your family?
Could you talk your way out of or into things?
How did your parents handle discipline?
Did your parents listen to you?
Did your parents get you whatever you wanted? (p. 83)
I highly recommend this book to every parent, anyone who wants to give advice to parents (though if you are not a parent giving advice you are probably on thin ice and your comments will not be welcomed) and to anyone who might become a parent.
5 out of 5 stars