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Children and the Fine Art Of Saying NO – How to Master It

Children may throw tantrums, beg, bargain, cry, accuse or demand relentlessly in ways that can be a very tiring experience for any parent. But this two-letter word NO can help them learn that they can not always get what they want. 

Here are a few pointers on how to master the art of saying NO to your child in an effective way. 

  1. 1.Say no in a clear and firm tone. Raise your voice to the extent that you are audible to your child but do not shout or scream. This will give the wrong signal to your child that screaming, or yelling is okay. Your body language and your tone should convey to your child that they are not behaving acceptably. 
  2. 2.Explain in short and simple words your reason for saying no to their demand or request. It may be majorly helpful for the older children who generally counter your ‘no’ with a ‘ why?’ A brief explanation can help them to understand and accept your no more readily. 
  3. 3.Listen to their objection if they protest. It may help the children to follow your rule in a better way if they feel heard. Stay firm in your decision and disengage from the conversation if they start pressing the issue. 
  4. 4.Ignore their tantrums like whining or crying or shouting and showing anger. Resist the temptation and do not give in. Changing your no to yes will only give your child the wrong impression that you do not always mean what you say. Don’t argue about your answer or get into any power struggles.  Just say something like ‘I have told you my answer and the reason behind it. That’s it.’
  5. 5.Reprimand your children for their behaviour if they don’t obey you and does what they want anyway. Reprimanding will teach them that they must face the consequences of their action. Do not spank, beat, or even scream at them. Show them that you are upset and stop talking to them. 
  6. 6.Make it clear to them about what you expect them to do to make amends or what they can do to earn back the privileges they lost by their behaviour. This way, children will learn to move forward and learn from their mistakes. 
  7. 7.Do not react to your child’s actions or protests by anger or impatience. They will only aggravate the situation. Go silent if you find yourself losing your cool. Sometimes distracting the child with something else works. 
  8. 8.Let your children know about your rules and boundaries from an early age, so that they have a good moral judgement, understand social decorums and learn the value of ‘no.’  For example, you may tell your children that they must all be present at the dinner table on time with their hands washed. You can assign tasks for everyone in setting the table or clearing it after dinner. 
  9. 9.Adjust the rules and limits according to the age of the child. As your children grow older, their actions change, as do their preferences. A toddler may be happy playing with toys and would want more playtime. But a teenager would ask for an extended curfew time or permission for a sleepover. You can discuss your logic behind saying a particular no with the older children.
  10. 10.Sometimes compromising on a rule or a limit may prove beneficial, especially if your children are in their adolescent age. Do so but on your terms and be selective. Do not compromise every time.

Finally, make sure to go along with their wishes and say “yes” more often than saying “no” to your kids’ activities. Children need to explore different places and try new things too and Yellow Class can help with the same. You should grant them permission to do things on their own and learn from their experiences. There are a bevy of fun activities and hobbies online that children can opt for.

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