For most parents, responding to their child’s questions with “no” is almost an automatic response.
“Can I skip school?” “No.”
“Can I eat a brownie for dinner?” “No.”
Since kids are always testing the limits and pushing the boundaries just to see how far you will go or how unreasonable of a request you will grant them, it makes total sense.
But, one mom recently shared a tear-jerking story that will make think twice before saying “no” without really thinking things through…
Recently, Rachel Ann Carpenter posted the story of her then-9-year-old daughter Nevaeh, who wanted to dye her hair pink, on Facebook.
“I initially said no because I know how judgmental people can be when it comes to children with colored hair,” Carpenter writes. “I also figured since she was only 9 she had her whole life to change her hair if she wanted.”
So, Carpenter told Nevaeh “no” to dying her hair pink.
But, then the unthinkable happened…
“A few days later at a camp they were doing a demonstration involving fire and something went wrong and it caught her on fire. She had horrible burns over 70% of her body. This time last year we were in the hospital with her not knowing if she was going to live or not,” Carpenter continued to write in her Facebook post.
Nevaeh was lucky to survive the fire, and a year later, when she asked her mom yet again if she could dye her hair pink, Carpenter gave her an emphatic “Yes!”
“Just because someone is young does not mean they are promised time,” Carpenter said. “I was so glad she was still here to ask me. It is just hair; hair color will fade. Something so easy as colored hair made her extremely happy.”
The story of Nevaeh really makes parents think twice about if they are drawing real, important boundaries for their children or just simply saying “no” out of fear and habit.
Most experts actually agree that exploring, experimenting with identity, making mistakes, and taking risks are all important parts of growing up.
But, aside from all the child psychology facts, sometimes it is just fun as a parent to say “yes.”
“It is so important to let your children live a little,” Carpenter said. “As adults, it’s easy to forget what it’s like to be a child and how easy it is to make them happy.”