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By Tanya Wilson

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During a recent trip to the mall, I was taken aback by a mother daughter shopping team. I could hear them before I saw them even though the little girl could not have been more than eight years old.

As I listened to the little girl’s series of disrespectful rants and tantrums, I was reminded of a commercial for the reality series, “Toddlers and Tiaras!” If you have seen the commercial for that series, you have a picture of what I was looking at.

I remember as a child when “No meant No.” There was NO negotiation. As a matter of fact, just “the look” could shut it down real quick.

As this episode in the mall continued, my feelings changed from disbelief to sadness. This mother had lost all control.

When I heard the words “you don’t tell me what to do,” every childhood memory I had came rushing back. If I dared to disrespect anyone like that I wouldn’t be alive to write this article today!

The sad thing is this behavior is being tolerated in many homes. The problem is so many parents are parenting in the moment, and not understanding that they are raising future men and women. Some parents settle because it’s easier to say yes. After all, it takes time and commitment to raise a child using discipline.

Without proper mentoring and accountability being poured into their lives, these disrespectful, self-centered, can’t deal with No folks, will meet us in society on our jobs, in our schools, in our stores and restaurants, and in our households to name a few.

Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

If no is the answer, no is the answer, non-negotiable. As parents, I believe there is no greater career than providing a road map that they can refer to into adulthood.

Let’s not let them down, believe it or not, they are waiting for the lesson. Remember they are children that are dependent on you to show them the ropes. Allow them to live a child’s life full tilt. And lastly, keep them in a child’s place. They need not be involved in “grown-up” conversations and/or activities. Remember they are processing information differently and most often will want to try and do and say what you do and say, after all, you are their parent.

Read more columns by Tanya Wilson, an inspirational speaker based in Charlotte. Find her on Facebook.

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