As your child grows, you must keep them in check by approving or disapproving their activities. Saying ‘no’ to your child will help to achieve this.
There are ways to make saying “no” to your child seem less hurtful and more approving. Below are some of them:
1. Be Firm
Be very determined when saying ‘no’. Also, do not let your child pester you into saying ‘yes’. This will prevent them from being manipulative.
2. The Positive “No”
Saying “no” too often can cause damage to your child’s language development and may prompt that feeling of resentment.
You can often say ‘yes’, while implying ‘no’. For example, if your child asks for a snack, you may respond: “Yes, you may have the snack after lunch”. If they ask to go play at their friend’s, say: “Yes, you may go after you’ve done your assignment tomorrow”.
This teaches them how to compromise, and the value of delayed gratification, as they still have the opportunity to eventually get what they want.
3. Respond With Respect
Try not to disrespect your child in the presence of other people, as this may have a negative effect on their confidence, you also don’t want them to learn that it is fine to have the same reaction towards others.
The best approach is to get the attention of your kid, go to a secluded place and plainly explain why you are telling them no.
4. Don’t Raise Hopes
Failing to keep your promises may cause them to develop trust issues. Do not make them expect something you have promised and then disappoint when it’s time to fulfill.
It is better to out rightly say “no” than to promise then fail to grant their request at the promised date.
5. Give Alternatives
Alternatives give them the impression that you’re not refusing their request. For instance, you may say “no” to their request for ice cream and ask them to pick a healthy frozen yoghurt instead.
6. Less Shouting
Try as much as possible to communicate the “no” to them in a cool and welcoming way as shouting may cause behavioural problems and emotional development issues.
Shouting really isn’t beneficial to any party as it causes stress for the parent and may lead to depression and self-esteem issues for children.
7. Give Explanations
Children may not understand the reason you’re refusing their requests or why they shouldn’t do certain things, that’s why they are likely to repeat misbehaviour or persist even after you’ve said no.
Giving convincing reasons they can understand is the most effective way to say “no” to them.
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