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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.

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

This article originally appeared on 08.03.17


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."


True

The last thing children should have to worry about is where their next meal will come from. But the unfortunate reality is food insecurity is all too common in this country.

In an effort to help combat this pressing issue, KFC is teaming up with Blessings in a Backpack to provide nearly 70,000 meals to families in need and spread holiday cheer along the way.

The KFC Sharemobile, a holiday-edition charitable food truck, will be making stops at schools in Chicago, Orlando, and Houston in December to share KFC family meals and special gifts for a few select families to address specific needs identified by their respective schools.

These cities were chosen based on the high level of food insecurity present in their communities and hardships they’ve faced, such as a devastating hurricane season in Florida and an unprecedented winter storm in Houston. In 2021, five million children across the US lived in food-insecure households, according to the USDA.

“Sharing a meal with family or friends is a special part of the holidays,” said Nick Chavez, CMO of KFC U.S. “Alongside our franchisees, we wanted to make that possible for even more families this holiday season.”

KFC will also be making a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that works to provide weekend meals to school-aged children across America who might otherwise go hungry.

“The generous donations from KFC could not have come at a better time, as these communities have been particularly hard-hit this year with rising food costs, inflation and various natural disasters,” Erin Kerr, the CEO of Blessings in a Backpack, told Upworthy. “Because of KFC’s support, we’re able to spread holiday cheer by donating meals for hunger-free weekends and meet each community’s needs,” Kerr said.

This isn’t the first time KFC has worked with Blessings in a Backpack. The fried chicken chain has partnered with the nonprofit for the last six years, donating nearly $1 million dollars. KFC employees also volunteer weekly to package and provide meals to students in Louisville, Kentucky who need food over the weekend.

KFC franchisees are also bringing the Sharemobile concept to life in markets across the country through local food donations and other holiday giveback moments. Ampex Brands, a KFC franchisee based in Dallas, recently held its annual Day of Giving event and donated 11,000 meals to school children in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.

If you’d like to get involved, you can make a donation to help feed students in need at kfc.com/kfcsharemobile. Every bit helps, but a donation of $150 helps feed a student on the weekends for an entire 38-week school year, and a donation as low as $4 will feed a child for a whole weekend.

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