How and When To Say ‘NO’ To Your Child
Whether you want to tell your little one that they can’t go out because they have not completed their assignment or because the weather is bad outside, telling them ‘no’ once in a while can be really good them.
Most of the time it so happens that parents say yes to their children’s demands, whether it’s for their good or bad, parents nod just to keep their children happy and due to love and affection. But saying yes every time can actually have a bad impact on their behavior and psychology. They would get thinking that you would say yes just because they are children. You need to say NO at times as that not only creates a boundary but also when used at the right time, shows that you really care for your child and have his/her best interest in your mind.
There are many ways to tell no to a child, however, most of them aren’t effective. When you say no, you must mean it, give a clear reason, and stand your ground.
- Say no when you see a valid reason
When you want to say no to your child, you need to have a valid reason. There could be one or many reasons that are running in your mind and you need to clearly mention those to your child. If you don’t want your child to know the reason, just say so and stop there.
- Explain in brief
If you need to explain your reason to say no, then give the explanation. A brief explanation about why you want to say no can go a long way in helping your child learn a lifelong lesson. For example when you refuse to let your child play with other kids in the summer heat by simply telling that “Don’t play in the heat” is not sufficient. Your child might just get angry or consider you mean.
You must say something like, “No you play in the day with your friends in summer because the heat might make you very tired and can make you weak.” This answer should be enough to convince your child about the dangers of playing in the summer and he/she will remember this lesson for a long time to come.
- Don’t give in
No matter how much your child tries to convince you if you have a valid reason to say no, don’t give in. Changing your stance to yes will give your child a reason to believe that you can be convinced.
We all love our children and they always take advantage of this situation. They will try to convince you with one reason or the other reason and will also assure you that they will not do anything else, but you need to stay firm on your decision. Never go back as this only makes your child think you can change your decision anytime. Tell them a NO means NO.
If they keep pestering you, just ignore them and they will fall in line. Don’t engage in any argument with them and continue to do what you were doing. They will go away after a while.
- Tell them about the consequences for not following the rules
If your child continues to behave in a disruptive manner despite several reminders, then you need to get a little harsh. That doesn’t mean you should beat or yell at them. That’s not advisable.
For example, if your child continues to watch TV despite you telling him to stop, warn him that you will get the satellite or cable connection disconnected. If the child doesn’t listen even then, don’t recharge or pay for the TV connection for a day or two. When there’s nothing on TV for some days, the child will start listening to you.
- Don’t let emotions come in the way
Some parents just don’t like to say no to anything. They are so emotionally attached to their children that they feel guilty for saying no. Don’t let emotions come in the way of dealing with your child. You think that by saying no the child will get upset or will consider you mean. If you don’t say no now, that it will get extremely difficult for you to say no at a later stage when they grow and start doing newer things.
When you say no and your child gets used to it, it prepares them to face rejections at a later stage.
- Call spade a spade
When your child does something wrong, say it so and tell in clear terms that such behavior won’t be tolerated. Tell them that a repeat of such behavior will mean saying no to other activities.
- Say yes often
Saying no all the time can be pretty bad for both you and your child in terms of relationships between you and your child. If you want your child to stay active and explore the world around him, then it’s okay to say so that they do something they like, even if it means the activity they are doing might not be good in terms of learning. It will ensure that you are not seen as a strict parent.
Setting limits is difficult
All parents want their children to be happy and when children are happy, parents are happy. That’s how the world has been for ages. The opposite is also true. You can’t be happy if your child is not happy.
As it happens very often, parental guilt sets in when parents say no to a child’s demand for anything and children become upset. This happens very often at homes with single or two children. You need to set limits that are neither too hard nor too gentle so that the child stays within limit.
You need to become an assertive parent because you know what’s good and bad for the child and if you are too gentle, that becomes a pattern over time which is not good both you and the child.