One mom's tear-jerking story might convince you to say 'no' a little less often.

For a lot of parents, the word 'no' is almost a gut reaction.

"Can we get ice cream?" "No."

"Can I stay up a little later? "No."


"Can we put on the 'Moana' soundtrack for the 40th time today?" "NO!"

It makes total sense. Kids and teenagers are constantly pushing boundaries, testing limits, and asking for things (some reasonable and some not).

Usually, as a parent, you have to shut it down.

One mom recently shared a powerful story about why — though it comes easy to us — we shouldn't always say no without thinking things through.

Rachel Ann Carpenter posted on Facebook sharing the story of her then-9-year-old daughter Nevaeh ... who wanted to dye her hair pink.

"I initially said no because I know how judgmental people can be when it comes to children with colored hair," Carpenter writes in a Facebook message. "I also figured since she was only 9 she had her whole life to change her hair if she wanted!"

So she said it. 'No.'

But then, Nevaeh had a terrible accident.

"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."

Life is way to short to say NO all of the time. This time last year she asked me if she could have pink hair and I said...

Posted by Rachel Ann Carpenter on Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Nevaeh was lucky to survive the fire. And a year later, she asked again if she could dye her hair.

This time, her mom gave an emphatic "Yes!"

"Just because someone is young does not mean they are promised time," Carpenter says. "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 highlights a tough question for parents: Are you drawing real, important boundaries with your kids? Or just saying "no" out of fear or habit?

It's our job to protect our children from danger or grave mistakes that may severely impact their life, but we can't protect them against every scraped knee from running too fast on the playground — nor should we.

Most experts agree that taking risks, exploring, experimenting with identity, and making mistakes are all important parts of growing up. Psychologist Randy Cale tells "Psychologies" parents should aim to only step in when safety is a serious concern or when the consequences of a behavior won't be immediately apparent to them (like eating ice cream for dinner every single night).

And beyond all the child psychology, sometimes it's just more fun to say "yes."

"It is so important to let your children live a little," Carpenter says. "As adults it's easy to forget what it's like to be a child and how easy it is to make them happy."

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

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"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

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"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

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"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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