Parents have a lot of jobs and responsibilities when it comes to their families. We're called to be good spouses, good employees, good neighbors, good church members, and good parents. It can be a lot to take many days.
Recently I was thinking about the number of times in my life I say, "No" to something. Often it's no to something that is just my preference. No to mushrooms. No to that last bite of food that will make me miserable instead of just full. No to that show on TV I don't like anyway.
As we approach the holiday season, however, I'm reminded that it is a parent's job many times to tell their kids, "No." Not because we don't like our kids, and not because what they're asking for just isn't our preference. We tell them no to things, events, and foods because we love them. No, you cannot have that expensive item that would put our family in debt. No, you can't eat all your Halloween candy in one sitting. No, we can't go to Disney every other weekend.
We tell them no out of love, but how often do we tell them no lovingly? It can be easy to see a child's request as silly or just plain absurd. And yet, for some kids, they've been considering this request for a some period of time, and it's more than just a whim. They have an emotional connection to a special time with you as their parent, or another family member, or a certain place. It's not absurd to want to return there. They are still figuring out the value of a dollar. They don't know that $100 is way different than $1,000 (at least at my house!).
So, it's vital that we as parents teach our kids the difference between "want" and "need" every day. It's important to teach them the 10-10-80 rule of living: Give 10%, Save 10%, Live on 80%.
But even more crucial is HOW we tell them no. After all, as parents, we're God's representatives to our children. How do you want your Heavenly Father to say no to you when you ask for something He lovingly knows you don't need? :-)