After my post last week on not just saying "no" to your children promptly when they ask to do something I decided maybe I should write about the other side of the story as well. Something that has made parenting far less stressful for us is being able to firmly say "no" at times and stick with it.
There are somethings that we have determined are not in the best interest of our children. Things like a lot of toys, candy, pop and other things that would be detrimental for their health or our ability to live simply and to stay out of debt. When we go shopping our children have learned that we will say "no" to any requests for toys or junk food. That is something that we haven't caved on (though once in a great while we will chose to buy something special and then our children get very excited!) and our kids don't even think to ask for things when we go shopping. Sometimes they will save money to buy things themselves or they will ask me if I think I can make it but they don't ask me to buy it for them.
We have found life to be much less stressful when we aren't burdened down with tons of things (though we could still stand to get rid of stuff!) and shopping with children is certainly less stressful as we don't have to deal with children asking for things, whining or throwing tantrums. Consistently and firmly saying "no" when out shopping has worked very well for us.
I would love to hear you thoughts on this! What works for you in this area?