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9 Tips on Saying ‘No’ to Your Child

9 Tips on Saying ‘No’ to Your Child

Saying No to your child

It takes a while in the development of a child to foster good morals and have a general sense of responsibility. Till then, you must keep them in check by approving or disapproving their activities.

This can tire and frustrate you as a parent and make you outrightly saying no to any and every request. This can cause unwanted resentment from your child.

Not to worry, there are ways to make saying “no” seem less hurtful and more approving. We have put together 9 of such ways, to make your home more loving and resentment-free.


1. Be Firm


You must be very determined in saying the first “no”. Make sure that there is no need to repeat, even if you must use serious facial expressions in making your child know that they are not getting what they want.

You also want to make sure to never concede, as it sets a bad example if your child knows they can pester you into getting a “yes”. This will enable them in using manipulation tactics constantly and of course, you don’t want a manipulative child.


2. The Positive “No”

When your child hears “no” too many times this can cause damage to their language development and of course prompt that feeling resentment.

It is completely possible to say “yes” while implying “no”. For instance, if your child asks for a snack, you may respond: “Yes, you may have a snack after lunch”. If they ask to go play at a friend’s, say: “Yes, you may go after you’ve done your homework tomorrow”.

This teaches your child 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 embarrass 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’s ok to have the same reaction towards others.

The best approach is to get your Childs attention, go to a secluded place and plainly explain why you are telling them no.

4. Don’t Raise Hopes

Failing to live up to promises may cause your child to develop trust issues. Never make your child expect something you have promised and then disappoint when it’s time to deliver.

It is better to say “no” outrightly than to promise then fail to grant their request at the promised date.


5. Present a United Front with Your Partner

Getting a “yes” from one parent and a “no” from another can lead to a misunderstanding between parents, confusion from the child, and ultimately create a manipulative habit in your child.

You must communicate with your partner, or better still, ask your child if a decision has already been made. If it’s one that you intended, fine. If not, ensure to iron it out with your partner before confirming a go-ahead or otherwise with your child.

6. Give them Choices

Allowing your children to choose gives them a sense of empowerment, making them feel that their judgement can be relied upon. This gives them a little thought process training in making decisions.

For instance; you may say “no” to their request for a very costly pair of shoes and ask them to pick their choice of a different pair within a certain price range.


7. Give Alternatives

Alternatives give 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.

This also helps in opening the door to discuss the benefits of eating healthy foods with them or other such alternatives that may be more beneficial for them than they know.

8. Less Shouting

Try as much as possible to communicate the “no” to your child in a cool and welcoming way as shouting may cause behavioural problems and emotional development issues. It may also lead your child to think that you might not be serious about an issue because you haven’t communicated it in a high pitch.

Let’s face it; 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.


9. 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 your child can understand is the most effective way to say “no” to them.

Learning to communicate with your child calmly and effectively is very important for their development. Saying “no” can be difficult, as every parent loves a happy and content child.

Saying “yes” most of the time, on the other hand, has its own long-term negative effects, hence, it is important to put into practice these tips to ensure checks for proper training and guidance.

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