Learning to say no essential for single mothers with scholarships

October 24, 2012

It can be hard to say no to a person, regardless of the relationship involved - even strangers asking for help may make a single mom feel bad for not helping. However, there are times when it becomes more important to look out for the well being of herself and her family, especially if a college scholarship is on the line. Making sacrifices when necessary will always be a situation mothers are faced with, but being able to draw the line and understand when it is appropriate to say no is essential.

Remember the schedule
There are plenty of reasons why it would make more sense to say no, but sometimes a single mom may feel pressured into helping due to fear of missing out on money-making opportunities or similar advantages, but these activities also present a risk of interfering with scheduled obligations. Studying and childcare do not wait for a single mom while she picks up an extra shift or helps out with a project when she doesn't need to. Zen Habits wrote that cordially bowing out of a scenario where it's clearly not an emergency and people can get by on their own is the responsible thing to do, and making it obvious in a polite way that a single mom has other things to do is preferable.

Make it up
If single moms are really struggling with saying no, especially to kids, they should come up with an agreement to do something in the future. There are legitimate reasons for sticking to planned events in order to make sure that everything that needs to get done is completed, but when there is free time, promising to make up the missed activity or do something else can make saying no at the moment much easier. It also can strengthen relationships with friends and colleagues by ensuring that person that a single mom values their friendship, but acknowledges that a college scholarship needs to come first.

Keep it short
Do not spend too much time apologizing or explaining the situation. The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping it short and sweet, thereby removing the uncomfortable apologies and potential miscommunication that can come with lengthy refusals. Even when followed by plans to make up the event, an extended denial can weaken future relations, the source warns.

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