“No” may be a simple word but it has a great deal of impact. The impact is usually negative, especially when it comes to kids, but it doesn’t have to be. Many parents avoid saying the word “no” because of what happens after they do – screaming, begging, crying – it can be too much for some to handle. However, saying no to your children often has a positive outcome because it teaches them limits.
Here are a few tips to saying no to your children without instigating a riot afterward.
1. Redirect. When your child asks to do or have something you’d rather them not do or have, rather than saying “no” right off the bat, give them another option instead. For instance, if your child asks for a cookie, tell him he can have an apple instead. Because you are not forbidding something, the child feels like he has choices.
2. Questions. When your child wants something you’d rather them not have, ask them questions about it. As an example, your child begs to go to out for fast food, but you have dinner already planned. Ask questions about what they would have ordered and how they would have ordered it, they are often satisfied with discussing it in this manner. Then redirect to what you’ve planned for dinner.
3. Use “No” sparingly. Reserve the word no for dangerous situations so children understand it’s importance. Find another way to say no, such as, “Maybe another time.” or “Let’s do something else.” By setting limits with other words and phrases, kids feel less forbidden.
Do you find yourself saying NO to your children too often or not often enough?
Photo Credit: Thinkstock