All parents will have to say no throughout their children’s lives. In fact, this may be a word that will have to be used often. This does not make you a bad parent and it does not make you a mean parent. In fact, it makes you a responsible parent since all children needs boundaries and set limits. However, there are better ways to tell your child no than just screaming the word. Here are some tips that may help any parent.
First, before you consider any tips on how to say the word no, ask yourself these two questions. Do your child/children understand that when you say the word no it means no? Do your children know when you say no it means no and understands what the word no implies?
Now how should you say no to your child?
• Be firm
• Set boundaries or limits
• Tell the child the consequences of what will happen if he/she doesn’t listen to you
• Follow up on your threats, if the child doesn’t listen and you warn that a time out will occur if he/she doesn’t do as you say, make the child take the time out
Children should not be the ones calling the shots in a home. The parent should be the authoritative figure. The parent should not be a friend.
What about in public? What should you do when your child behaves in a restaurant or store? The best course of action is to remove the child from the situation. However, you should begin teaching your child how to act properly first at home. This will help prevent your child from throwing as many public tantrums in the first place.
Do not worry that saying the word no to your child will damage his/her self esteem. In fact, most doctors and therapists will tell you that boundaries and limits actually comfort a child. They also find comfort in knowing that there are expectations that they need to live by and consequences to their actions. Learning these two facts will help them become responsible adults.
As for older children, they may roll their eyes when you are telling them repeatedly what to do. They may even tell you that you become a nag. However, what you are saying is getting through to most of the children and by repeating rules such as warning a teenage driver to watch his/her speed he/she will be more apt to heed your warnings.
Saying no all the time may not be a fun activity for a parent. However, it is a necessary one and by doing it in the correct way it an activity that will help your child become a more responsible person in the long run.