As parents, your intention behind refusing something to your children is always good. You want to protect them from harm, you know that it is not the right time to give or allow them what they want, or you are just not in the mood to indulge them for some reason.

But, when you say ‘no’ to your children for something, they tend to interpret it in different ways. They will simply ignore and pretend not to hear you. They will obediently listen to you and accept your ‘no’ easily. They will rebel, throw a tantrum, or make a scene. They will get terrified because they sensed fear or rebuke in the way you said ‘no’.

Either way, it will strain the relationship between you and your child. So, instead of saying ‘no’ explicitly, try the following positive parenting strategies:

Give Options

Let’s say, your child wants to eat ice cream instead of milk in the morning. You can tell him or her that s/he can get two scoops of ice cream after lunch or just a little bit if s/he wants it in the morning.

The chances are that your child will go for the first option. You didn’t even have to say ‘no’!

Distract

If they are crying or whining for something that you don’t agree to, just try to distract their attention. For example, if they want to buy a new toy from a shop, you can engage them in some other interesting activity like ‘let’s go and eat a pizza!’ or ‘do you want to sit in a ride?’.

Weave a Story or Take Example from Books/Movies

When your children are not ready to understand the ‘no’, give them a reference of moral lessons from a book they have read or movie/cartoon they have watched. If nothing comes to your mind, just make up a fake story and tell them😊

Don’t Fool Around the Answer

Children, especially pre-teens and teens want a conclusive answer when they ask or demand something. When you try to avoid it with phrases like ‘I am not sure’ or ‘let me think’, they will nag you even more. So, give them a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Give them a logical explanation about why you decided to say ‘no’.

Be Firm When the Situation Demands

There are times when you know that a ‘no’ is the best for your child. For example, the child wants to play on a swing that is almost broken or enjoy a late-night party with friends without giving adequate details with whom or where s/he wants to go. Do not buckle in if you feel that the situation is unsafe, or your child is being unreasonable about the demand.

Don’t Hesitate to Discipline

At times, the situation can get out of hands and you may need to warn your child of the consequences. For example, if you tell your children that they will be grounded if they don’t listen to you, then do act upon it as and when required.

It’s Ok to Given in

Frequent or continuous ‘noes’ can irritate your child and make them feel disconnected from you. Depending on the situation, don’t mind indulging them in their whims and fancies occasionally. So, if you are on a vacation, and the child wants to buy chocolates every day, just given in to make them happy.

Do you have any trick up your sleeve to say ‘no’ to your child? Share it with Kidwise readers!

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.

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4 Comments
  1. Komaljit Kaur 3 years ago

    The first option works wonders for my toddler.

  2. Sanjana Bhatt 3 years ago

    Kids have become very intolerant these days. They just don’t take a no for anything.

  3. Sameer M 3 years ago

    All good and age appropriate points. Nice.

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