I have two teenage daughters, Kylie and Kiera, ages 16 and 17. When they were 3 and 4 years old I used to have to take them on my weekly grocery shopping trips. I was a single father and the thought of leaving them at home, however tempting it was, just didn’t seem right.
Every week, upon entering the store all of the eye level goodies, pretty packages, and displays had them mesmerized. This was nothing like the plain, and locked, cabinets they saw all day at the house and couldn’t open.
As I went down aisle after aisle it felt like I was accompanied by two octopuses. Their tentacles grabbing any box, jar, or bag they could reach. My shopping trips with them involved putting more things back on the shelf than it did putting things in my cart.
Eventually, they would learn that they needed to ask me before they just grabbed something and put it in the cart. Then I could simply reply, “no” and end it there.
Do you know what I call parents who think saying “no” is where this conversation ends?