There are times in my life as a Mother I want to revert to the old adage, "Because I am the Mother, and I said so!" To a child who lacks rational thinking, this makes no sense. On the contrary, to every Mother in the world this makes perfectly good sense. How do you explain to your child "Mother's Intuition"??? Sometimes, my kids will try to press an issue in an attempt to weaken me and get me to go from a "No" to a "We'll See". To them "We'll See" basically means a "Yes". Most of the time my "no" is a "no" because there is a really good reason for it. The problem is they don't often hear just a plain old "no" because I LIKE being a "yes" mom.
In the book, "Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley" by Virginia H. Pearce . Marjorie was quoted as saying, "whenever possible say yes, they are only kids once!"
I took this challenge to heart. I WANT my kids to enjoy their childhood in spite of tough times. This doesn't mean my children get out of responsibilities or can manipulate me into getting what they want. It just means that if they propose something that doesn't quite fit my circumstance or wishes, I try to help them figure out a way to make it work. I try to see if there is a way we CAN say yes. Instead of "No you can't have friends over to play games and have pizza because the house is a mess and I don't have money for pizza" it's more like, "Well, you can have friends over IF you clean up the house and then ask all of your friends to each bring a snack to share" type of thing. I hope this is making sense. Anyway, I guess it is what my Communication Professor would call a Collaborative Style of Conflict Management; wherein both parties collaborate to “foster a win-win climate”.
Ok... That being said (sorry, this is taking longer to explain than I thought)... my son thinks I should let him go Sky Diving for his 16th birthday. SKY DIVING!!! I've read the statistics. I've read how "safe" it is and so on and so forth. Yet, I just can't bring myself to agree. My answer has remained steadfastly a resounding "no." When I won't budge and my kids won't budge, I often find it time to try to get them to see things from my perspective. I guess it makes me feel less harsh? Anyway, this is usually when I begin to quote from the Book of Motheronomy.
The Book of Motheronomy is not a book which you will find in any Bible, Torah, Buddha-Dharma, Book of Mormon or any other collection of Holy Writ. Nope... this is something I sort of make up as I go. I named it like Deuteronomy. Deuter, meaning two or second and onomy meaning a system of rules or laws. Hence, Deuteronomy means "Second Law". In the same like, Motheronomy means "Mom's Law". Like it? Yeah... me too!
I pretty much have 3 simple "laws" that I always start off with and then expound upon as necessary. Motheronomy 1:1 basically says "because I said so". Motheronomy 1:2 "no. and that's my final answer." Motheronomy 1:3 "yes, when you're 21." When I expound on these scriptures I like to go into what I call "Biblical Prose" because I find that the children seem to argue less. Perhaps it just sounds more official? Or maybe it demands a higher level of respect?
The other day my son's Facebook wall played out as such:
HIM: I really really really really really really really really really really want to sky dive on my 16th birthday.
HIS FRIEND: I'll go with you.
HIM: That no is not final. More people die in car accidents than they do in sky diving accidents.
HIS FRIEND: Yeah. And I'll let him land on me if his parachute doesn't work.
ME: Motheronomy 1:1-3 "Son, it troubleth me that the exposition of the utterance "NO" escapeth thine understanding. Dost thou not knoweth that thy life meaneth more to me than perhaps mine own? Dost thou not see that this longing for such an endeavor bringeth nothing but disquietude and unrest to mine heart? Why dost thou wish to beseech me when thou hast already heard these words from mine own lips? Son, I counsel thee to receive mine answer with grace and humility; and know that in due time, when thou has reached the age of thine twenty-first year, thou mayest chooseth for thyself upon which journeys thou shalt take. Until that time, I submit to thee that this will is mine and I ask thee to adhere to mine words and not forsake me. Thine obedience has found favor with me thus far and shall prove to sustain thee for many more days to come."
I think he gets is now. I think it's a win-win, don't you? I mean, if you think about it, I did say he could go... just not till he's 21! ;)