One of the hardest things to do is say no to your kids, but it is an important thing to learn how to do in order to prepare your child for life as an adult, where no is a common occurrence. Here are some tips to follow to help you say no to your kids, with no questions asked or resistance.
Go Over Expectations
Saying no can be difficult and is the answer to many questions for a variety of topics. One of the first things that comes to mind is when my kids ask me if I will buy them something at the store. This could be at the grocery store, at the sporting goods shop, at the mall, or just about anywhere. To avoid having meltdowns in these given social spaces, the best thing that you can do is go over what is going to happen before you are there. Start with, “we are going to go to the mall to get a birthday present for Grandma.”
Then continue to explain, “I know there are going to be things that you need and want, but you have to remember that today is Grandma gift day, and we will get you your things on [date].” Take it even further to say, “If you ask me to buy you something today, my answer is going to be ‘no.’” This sets the expectations for the day or the task so that you will not get resistance to your answer of “no” because they will know that their turn to shop will come another day.
Say “No,” But Ask Questions
Sometimes you are going to have to say “no,” to things that would have been fine had there not been another factor in play. For example, your son wants to have his friend from soccer over for the weekend to play. You know that you will all be attending a wedding this weekend, so a sleepover can’t happen. Your son knows this and continues to ask if his friend can come.
Simply say “no,” give the explanation that the wedding plans have already been made for a few months now, and that his friend can come over next weekend instead. To make the “no” less felt by your son, start asking him questions about what he is going to do with his friend next weekend: What kind of pizza do you want to order? What are you guys going to do? Are you going to play Call of Duty? And questions like this to get him excited about having his friend come over the following weekend instead of this weekend.
Set Limits and Stick to Them
One of the most prominent ways to say “no” and mean it, is to consistently follow through with your answers. If you say no, you cannot change your mind and give in later to avoid an argument. Your child needs to learn that “no” means “no” and that you aren’t going to budge on your answer because they choose to behave badly in reaction to your “no.” If this does happen, your child will quickly learn that all they have to do is throw a huge tantrum in a public space and because you are not wanting to cause a scene, you will give in.
Do you have any tips to help parents say no to their kids?