What would happen if you stop saying ‘no’ to your kids? Maybe this.
Is this the world’s most lenient mum? Bea Marshall is mum to Peep, nine and Jos, seven. She says she has never and will never say the word ‘no’ to her boys because it would stifle their individuality.
Here’s what they get away with as part of their mum’s parenting philosophy:
* They Swear at her.
* Decide their own bed time.
* Decide when to do their homework or simply not do it.
* Cut through electrical wires.
* Watch television all night.
* Eat ice cream for breakfast.
* Wear whatever they like.
* Sip her alcoholic drinks.
* Draw on the walls.
It’s called “Yes Parenting” and it sounds like a recipe for disaster.
However Bea stands by her decision, saying it helps foster more confident children who are less likely to rebel when they’re older. Bea says her children are individuals who deserve to be able to think for themselves. Misbehaviour is observed with interest. Reckless behaviour is encouraged. Boundaries aren’t even mentioned.
A typical example of Bea’s parenting method is when she found her three-year-old son had cut through the wire of her mobile phone charger. Instead of yelling and ranting and raving like any normal parent would do, Bea simply told her son, “Wow, you really do want to cut through things!” and gave him a bag of other things to chop up.
Bea wasn’t always like this. The UK mum started out as a very regimented and disciplined parent with lots of rules and regulations, but found the constant cycle of discipline and defiance exhausting. “Then for six weeks I didn’t say no to them at all and it was just so different.” she told the Daily Mail.
She says it’s when they do something most parents would consider naughty that she feels like she’s being the best mother possible. “My response is instead to be there all the time for them. I think instead of saying no to children all the time we need to equip them with the knowledge of what boundaries are appropriate.”
Do you think Bea is on to something, or is her method just an excuse to be a bad parent?