“Only because it might hurt you!”

These days, our kids are more knowledgeable than ever. They have the help of the internet, their friends, and all types of media. But they still don’t know everything we adults do: like wearing a jacket to keep from getting sick, finishing their meals so they don’t get hungry 10 minutes later, and not running off when we’re in a strange city.

Us parents will face arguments, fights, and tantrums every time we tell our kids to do something that they don’t like. My wife and I have taken to explaining to our children why we’re saying no. “Only because it might hurt you” gets some of the message across, but our kids will wonder and argue why they could get hurt. They don’t understand it. But that’s not their job, it’s ours. We have to shield them from harm while they’re under our roof and though it may not be easy, we’re willing to cope with the fights if it means they’re safe.

How would you go about explaining to your child not to do something? Do you tell them the truth and point out how they’ll get hurt? Or are you firm with no room for negotiations?

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