If you don’t have the time to do it right, then you must have the time to do it again. And with today’s busy parenting, you definitely won’t have the time for errors and corrections. Not only time, you will also end up with new stumbling blocks, if you don’t do certain things the right way, the very first time with your kids. Today we will be exploring the 6 Right ways to say NO to your child. This will be the third post in the blog series ‘Saying NO to your Child’.
In the earlier posts, we analyzed the impression of NO on parents and kids and we identified the reasons why parents should say NO to their children. Now we have to explore the right ways to say NO to your child. This is the most important step in the process of saying NO. If not done right, it can back fire you in many ways and can create much more chaos.
6 Right Ways to Say NO to your Child
Once you are ready to set certain limitations to your child, for his well being, then you should decide upon unwrapping this with him positively.
Well begun is half done – Aristotle
This quote is perfect when it comes to communicating NO to your child. Both the parents, should decide and agree on the things which need to be limited for their child and how they are going to do it. A perfect reasoning, planning and clear approach on this will give the best results. Once you identify the right ways to say NO to your child, then things will move very smoothly without much trouble.
The reason why I planned to write a series on ‘Saying NO to your Child’ is because it is an Art by itself. It involves many delicate things and entanglements. It can indeed be a life changer for your child in both ways(good or bad).
Saying NO alone is not important. The ultimate goal is that it has to do some good to your Child. There are chances saying NO can turn against you and create more bad than the good you anticipated. So it has to be handled and done gracefully. Identifying the right ways to say NO to your Child is the key in establishing a standard optimistic environment for your kid.
Having said that, now lets explore the 6 Right ways to say NO to your Child.
#1 Say a Stern NO
After you decide to restrain your child from doing something, the principal step is to say a stern NO. A NO with no dragging or punctuation.
Most times children don’t take things seriously, until they are instructed with a change in your voice tone. By tone change, I don’t mean it to be harsh or shout loud and it should never be. The tone change should reach your child and imply that mommy/daddy is talking something seriously.
“Noooooo baby, No No No, you should not do it my darling!!”
in a sweetening and dragging tone, may not reach your child earnestly.
“No! You are not supposed to do it darling!”
in a steady and stern voice may gain your child’s attention.
The child should know the difference, when his parents are doing a usual talk and when they are seriously insisting on something. Only a voice modulation, can bring this attention in young children. This is not only applicable while saying NO, but even when you want your child to do something which he is not doing.
Always communicate a firm and stern NO.
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#2 Reason your NO
A stern NO alone may not be enough many times. The next step needed will be reasoning your NO.
Whenever mommy/daddy says NO for something, it means it is not good for you or it is not good for others around you.
If you don’t listen to us and stop what you were doing, then you will be having a bad impact, which we don’t want to happen to you.
This is general reasoning. Still very small children will not be able to grasp the intented message from this . You have to reason every NO you say. You have to explain the impact of his action which you are restricting him to do.
Not only adults, even kids don’t take anything seriously, unless they are reasoned. Clarify, why do you control them from doing something and its necessity in the toddler language. Of course, you cannot achieve their enlightenment in the very first attempt.
Continue your NOs seriously and reason it every time, until he understands that Mommy/Daddy is restricting for his good. And it might take a long way to build that trust in your child. All you need is patience. But once your child believes, that his parents are restricting him for his good, soon your subsequent NOs will be obliged without much frets.
Don’t say NO on the go. Your NO should have a substantial reasoning.
#3 Detail the boundaries
When you are reasoning your child about why he should not be doing something, don’t be very generic. In addition to pinpointing the impacts, do explain the boundaries in detail. Like,
When he can do something and when he cannot. Or to what extend he is allowed!
Point out the do’s and don’ts clearly and specifically if the limitations depend on certain situations. We cannot simply blame our children for not adhering to the constraints. It is our responsibility to point out all the possible scenarios and extends. If you didn’t explain him the frontiers, then you should not criticize him for the consequences.
Children will also be more co-operative, when they perceive the reasoning and limits utterly.
So describe the boundaries precisely and set lucid expectations.
#4 Explore other options
When your child hears a NO for what he is actually enjoying, there is no wonder he will be upset. To cheer him up and carefully avoid any tantrums, explore the other available choices for him.
Ascertain him that he cannot do this, but he can very well indulge in the some other activities. (List them)
Knowing that he has some alternatives will make him feel comparatively better and move on rather quickly.
But providing an option every time when you say a NO, can also backfire. Whenever you are restricting him from doing something, he will start to expect and demand an alternative . So provide choices only when the situation demands.
Whenever necessary, explore other possible options with your kid while saying NO to the current situation.
#5 Appreciate and Encourage
Do not scold your child or say anything to disgrace him or brand him negatively. This will only urge your child to be more stubborn to continue with what he is doing.
Rather say something positive or appreciate him. Make him feel happy about himself and encourage him to stick to good habits.
Appreciate him with some tiny gifts every time he obeys your NO. Gifts need not be costly. A simple star or sticker will be much precious for your child. When he collects like some five stars gift him something bigger than the star. Repeat this for every five stars.
Boost your child’s spirits while saying NO to any situation.
#6 Don’t relax the limitations
Once you have started saying NO to your child, you will be encountering many situations which will tempt you to relax the limitations. There can be numerous reasons for this like,
- You will be emotionally moved by your child’s tears and it ill overpower your decision to restrict something.
- You might be seriously involved in something else and let your child do things which you restricted before.
- Unable to handle the tantrums you will let go and relax for only one time (However this only one time can happen any number of times 🙂 )
All these and many more other reasons will tempt you to relax the limitations for some period. But this is one thing which you shouldn’t be doing for a while, when you want your child to seriously listen to you.
Once you give the option of loosening the conditions, then you may witness your child always clinging to it. And you will have to struggle a lot to set up the discipline.
Never relax the limitations, unless you have a strong reason which you can explain to your child and make him understand it.
Stick to NO evenly all the time.
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Bonus Tip : The one last Trump Card
If you feel none of the above is working with your kid, you can use the one last trump card to fix the issue temporarily.
Divert from the situation.
Clear him out of the scenario, involve him in other stuffs until he forgets everything. This is totally temporary and you cannot hold to it all the time. Otherwise you will end up inventing new ideas to divert him whenever you want to constrain him from doing something.
But this is not as easy as said. It is simple to divert few children but not every child. Even if you turn the whole world upside down, they will still not get away with their frustration from being restricted. They will not stop their tantrums until you fulfill their wishes.
In such scenarios all you need is patience, patience and more patience stuffed with determination. Try all possible but right ways to say NO to your child. One or the other day you will succeed.
A sample Scenario
Assume this scenario. Your kid is playing in the roadside dirty water puddle. It’s rainy season and you want to keep him away from any infections.
How will you handle it? You an try something like this.
“No dear! You are not supposed to play in this dirty water.”
“There will be innumerous germs and you will eventually fall ill.”
EXPLAINING THE BOUNDARIES
“Dirty water in any form, in any place is bad!”
EXPLORING OTHER OPTIONS, if he is still not listening and stepping out
“But you have other options. You can bring your bath toys and play during the bath time or you can play in our pool which is clean! “
APPRECIATE and ENCOURAGE
“You are growing up and you certainly understand what I am saying. You are going to step out now and gain one more star for your good behavior”
DON’T RELAX THE LIMITATIONS
On any condition, do not back out from your NO, thinking you can clean him when he is home. If you have such thoughts, never say NO to him on the first hand. Let him play and freshen him after reaching home.
THE ONE LAST TRUMP CARD
If nothing works out, divert him from the situation. Tell him that you are going to visit grandma or going to play with him with his favorite toy.
Instead of plainly saying “No!You should not play in the dirty water”, the above conversation will help your child to LISTEN, REASON, DECIDE and OBEY.
Choose your right method
Not every method mentioned here will suit your Child. It purely depends on the kind of bond you have with your kid and how you want to handle it. In any case, choose the right ways to say NO to your child. This will inculcate many good manners and virtues in your kid.
As always, this is not the end of the list. You might have many other ways which worked well for you and your kids in setting limitations. Please share your knowledge in the comments section and support the fellow parents.
In the next post, we will spot out the skills to sustain the consequences of saying NO to your child.
Posts in the series ‘Saying NO to your Child’
- Saying NO to your Child – Impression of NO on Parents & Kids
- 7 Reasons why parents should say NO to their children
- 6 Right ways to say NO to your Child
- 5 Skills needed to succeed in saying NO to your Child
- 9 Prominent Reasons why Saying No to Your Child is not Working
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