No. The simple words, kids never want to hear. If you can do what they want, then you are the best parent ever, if not you are looked at as “Bad”.
But it isn’t possible to please everyone, is it? plus you wouldn’t be doing your kids good, by saying yes to every one of their demands right? So what can you do instead? Say yes or say No or be in-between?
Before we find that, let me quickly chip in that even if No is mostly seen as negative, it isn’t always that. Here are some importance of saying No.
1. You Assert And Establish Your Parental Rights And Responsibility For Your Child
Saying no is one of the clearest ways to say I am the parent here and I have authority over you for now.
You can’t have a child that wants to do things his way or a child who gets angry and can’t respect your rules. As the parent, you and your child would have to work together with an understanding.
You won’t always have to do things without considering your kids. But sometimes you need to put your feet on the ground and say No and it’s final. It will make the child get used to respecting authorities, plus they won’t turn out to be spoilt brats or kids with an entitlement mentality.
2. It Helps Develop And Prepare Your Kids For The Real World
When your kids leave the shores of the home, they would meet with people from diverse backgrounds, races, cultures; people with different perspectives out there.
They will meet those who will want their views to be heard and respected. If your child is not used to the fact that people’s boundaries need to be respected, he will find it hard to adjust when he meets people that refuse him.
My parents raised me with this mentality taught me contentment and that sometimes they never gave me all I demanded. everything I want. They didn’t always tell me the reason for this, call it old school you may be right but it helped me a lot.
Now, I don’t get too disappointed when people don’t do what I want and I know everyone has the right to say yes or no to you.
It helps kids set healthy boundaries: saying no to your kids, also make them say no to people when they are not comfortable with something.
3. When Used Strategically, Saying No Could Be A Win-win
Your kids learn to accept what you have said, and also learn not to give in to people’s demands all the time and are people pleasers.
4. It Gives Kids Clarity
When you say no to unacceptable things it makes your kids clear and knows the things that are accepted and the things that are not.
So you don’t always have to say it again and again and maybe your kids want to ask if it possible to play in the rain? If you have told him no several times before he will immediately remember that, you never allow him to go play In the rain anyways so they will reason, no point asking, and he does something else. There, he has been able to know at least to some extent, some of the things you don’t accept and the things you do.
5. They Do Not Get Confused And Unsure
If you sometimes agree on things and later disagree, trust me your kids will be quick to point out that you have allowed them several times to do this before and you the parents will find it hard to prevent them from doing things which you want to avoid.
Now back to the dilemma, if saying no or saying yes is the best option. Here’s something you should know that will give the needed clarity: while saying no has its benefits, it needs to be used creatively, constructively, and positively so your kids will get the vibe and to some extent see reasons for you preventing them from doing these things.
Using the word No every time may not always be the best option, this is why I have outlined 10 positive ways to say no to a child. They are great alternatives to saying No.
1. Great Idea How About We Do It Some Other Time
Saying this to your child when he requests something is a positive way to say no to a child and also, a perfect way to stall for the moment.
Let’s say you have called your child for lunch and he says mom I don’t want lunch, can I play a game instead? No need to yell come right here and eat!
You can simply say oh! great idea, but how about we do it when you have eaten and rested and you have more energy and longer time to play? Your child will start thinking, he knows that playing longer works better, plus he knows you didn’t reject his request. He will be eager to munch up his lunch rest and run to play.
2. Tell Me Why?
Sometimes instead of saying no choose to initiate a conversation. For example, you are with your child in the shopping mall, and he points to a nice red sports car and he asks that you get it for him.
Instead of saying no you can’t have yet another sports car. You can say oh really?? Tell me why you need yet another car. Of course, he will say I love this one very much.
But you have so many cars in different designs and colors and they serve the same functions. No point in having several things that serve the same function.
You will soon get tired of it and want a new one don’t you see why you can’t always buy the same stuff? Sometimes they are unnecessary. As you engage in the conversation with the child be calm and friendly and explain in a nice clear tone.
Now is not the time to be harsh or authoritative. Make it a friendly chat. You must have done all your shopping and zoom out of the store while still talking with your little one.
Use this positive way to say No to a child when you are not worked up and when you have much time and energy to explain. The kid may not give in soon but be smarter and back yourself with cogent reasons. With time, the child will get the point.
3. What’s The Rule?
When you have laid down. Like rules on playing late or washing hands after coming in, you can use it as a positive way to say No to a child.
Your kids may forget or want to defy the rules so take time to remind them of the rules. Here are some ways you can use this.
If your kids rush from school and storm into the kitchen to hug you and immediately grab the glass of cold lemonade you have to prepared for lunch before touching it, call their attention Jed, Jan, John, what’s the first thing we do when coming from outdoor?
Immediately you tell them that they know what they have to do and they will go wash their hands before taking a drink. See, you don’t have to see no don’t have a drink. Remembering them the rule or telling them to remember the rule will make them do what is right.
4. Let Me Think About It?
This of course is another positive way to say no to your child or stall before giving the child a reply.
If your child has been asking for something repeatedly and you feel it is something he likes and it is worth considering you may tell the child to give you some time so you could see if you can work out something. let’s give an example.
Say I have a conversation with my kid who is Beth.
Beth: Mum can I take piano classes?
Me: Why do you want to take piano classes? You are already taking ballet classes.
Beth: Yes mum. I love playing the piano and I think I could fair with school and both classes.
You: Let me think about it and get back to you. I need to consider other options like timing, and finance.
This way, you don’t outrightly dismiss the idea and you don’t accept the idea either. Your child knows the issue is brought to the table and you have sufficient time to weigh the options before answering.
5. Let’s Analyze This Together
You can use the tip when you have a child that is a bit grown up. Here, you bring the request to the table and you both weigh the options.
This tip will be especially useful for critical decisions. Maybe your child wants to school far away and you see no reason for him schooling far. You won’t have to say no you are choosing a school nearby and that’s final.
Instead, you can say, let’s analyze this together. You both bring the reasons to the table. You can tell the child your reasons: maybe finance, or distance school traveling risks, etc.
The child can also outline his points of better chances of exposure. At this stage, you both have to be open-minded and see what works best.
6. Is This A Good Idea?
One positive way to say No to your child is to let the kid reason out why he can’t have something. You can do this by asking the question is this a good idea?
If maybe one of your children asks: mom can we watch TV when they have exams the following day and they haven’t revised you can ask them, Jed, is this a good idea? Do you think it is right to watch TV now when you have exams? You don’t need to talk more for the child knows what needs to be done.
Or your child asks for ice cream when he has a cold, simple say do you think taking ice cream is a good idea when you have a cold? The child will reason out the answer and back off.
I call this trick “question-answers a question”. You use a question to reply to the question and most times it works. The child knows that his request will be something reasonable before it can be granted.
7. Ok, Let’s Put It On Your Wish List
You can introduce the idea of a wish list to your kids. The wish list is a list where your kids can write everything they want on and parents get ideas of what their kids want with the wish list.
So if your kid asks for a toy, you can always say put it on your Wish list and I will consider. That way, the child learns how to wait. Also, his ideas and opinions are not outrightly rejected.
It also saves you the time and stress of repeated explanations. You get lots of ideas and options to choose from when your kids birthdays and when special occasions come around or when you want to reward the child for good behavior.
8. One Now, Or Two Later
It is a tempting way to make your child do what you want or to prevent him from doing something, so, it is a positive way to say No to a child, instead of using the outright word no.
Here, you can offer tips or tricks that will make him or her oblige. Mom can I have some ice cream? Your reply could be: Eat all your breakfast then you will be allowed to have not only one but two scoops of ice cream.
The child will be eager to do your bidding. Or if at the shop and your child asks mom can I get a new toy? How about you passed your exams I’ll get you two new toys of your choice. Deal? You need to know when and how to use this trick and be and creative when using it.
9. Offer Something In Return
If you don’t want your child to have something, you may decide to offer something else. It is another Positive way of saying No to a child.
You don’t give what your child has asked for but the child gets something instead and it is a win-win for you and the child.
For example, if Billy wants to play outdoor and it’s already dark you could say you can’t play now outside but how about I let you drive with your new toy car around for five minutes the child won’t be altogether disappointed in you not let him because he sees another equally important option he can choose from this is also a positive way to say no to a baby.
If he or she wants to play with dangerous objects you can carefully remove that from the baby and give him something else that would be both safe and exciting to use.
10. What Can You Do To Make It Happen?
If your child keeps pestering you for something, one positive way to say no is to ask the child the simple question? What can you do to make it happen? That either silence the child or get him working, finding ways to “make it happen”.
But you, are out of the picture. So the next time, your child asks you for a private jet, tell him: what can you do to make it happen? He may end up saving his allowance but will soon find that his request was out of the world.
While you use these positive ways to say no to a child, you also need to know when best it is to use them. This is when you get the desired results. Always remember that you are on the path to becoming the best mom you would ever be.
Light and love!!!
Save this for later mama!