Explanations invite pushback, and pushback is argument. When your daughter asks for something, it’s one thing to simply say “No.” It’s quite another to go on and on about why you are saying “No.” You tell your daughter, for example, that you’re not going to buy her a new Princess Fantastic doll because she has enough of them already and they cost too much anyway. Your daughter responds with a rebuttal, as in, “But Mom, I only have five and besides, this is the one everyone’s been waiting for and all my friends are getting it and besides, it doesn’t cost nearly as much as that new washing machine you and Dad bought last week.”
You then tell your daughter that the fact that everyone is getting the new doll isn’t reason enough to pay that much money for it and, yes, five is enough, and where the new washing machine is concerned, that was something the family needed, not something you simply wanted. And your daughter comes back with … and the game is on.