There’s something about children that tugs at our heartstrings and makes us want to keep them safe and protect them from heartbreaks of any kind. That’s why we feel upset and sad when we see their big eyes fill with tears and their tiny faces scrunched with anger when we refuse them something they want. “No” is a power-packed word, quick on the lips, easy to say. Your child will hear you use this word often, and you will hear it from your child as well.
It’s necessary for a parent to say “no” to a child so the child can later say “no” to himself. All children—and some adults—have difficulty delaying gratification. “I want it now” is a driving desire, especially in toddlers.
Learning to accept “no” from someone else is a prelude to saying “no” to herself. What gets children (and adults) into trouble is a knee-jerk, impulsive reaction to a want, an immediate “yes” without taking time to run it through their internal sensor and consider the necessity of saying “no” to themselves
It’s easy to say no when you are keeping your kid from getting hurt, as in, “No! Don’t touch that hot stove!” That’s not the hard kind of saying no, that’s a parent’s job: determining what is good or bad for a child and helping to teach the difference. Sometimes, though, kids will have a different opinion. That’s when saying no can be hard.
The act of saying no itself isn’t the challenge. Parents usually have a pretty good sense of when the answer should be no. Sometimes you’ll face a tough decision with grey areas that need extra consideration, but even that isn’t too hard. What’s hard is anticipating how your child will react.
Saying no is important for a child’s development, for establishing his identity as an individual. This is not defiance or a rejection of your authority. Parents can learn to respect individual wishes and still stay in charge and maintain limits. The boundaries of self-hood will be weak if the self gets no exercise.
As your child gets older, the ability to get along with peers in certain situations(stealing, cheating, drugs, and so on) will depend on her ability to say no.”
Tips for saying no: • Stay neutral and clearly say “no” to your child. Don’t say “maybe” or “we’ll see.” Say “no” if you mean no and stick to it. • If your child gets angry and has a tantrum, stay calm and tell your child that you love them enough for them to be mad at you.
That you wouldn’t be a good parent if you said “yes” to everything. They will make noise and have a fit, but don’t get sucked in. They will give up when they believe you. • Never give in to a tantrum or whining for the toy, item or activity they have requested.
This rewards the behavior and guarantees its return. • Use a neutral but confident voice–if you don’t believe yourself, they won’t believe you either. • Talk to them about others who are less fortunate–ask them to set aside some toys or new gifts that they can give to charity. •
Know that you are helping them develop the life skills they need to handle disappointments in life. It’s important for them to know that they can do this, that they are strong enough. • Help them create mindful and responsible consumer habits by talking about choices and modeling the difference between wanting something and needing something.
Help them consider the advertising they are being exposed to–teach them to question it and discuss it. If your child is pushing back when you say no, understand that up until now, you’ve watered and fed that behavior, and it grew.
style=”text-decoration: underline;”>The Commandments of Saying No Any art has a technique and techniques are made up of steps. So here are the 8 steps on how to say no respectfully:
Step 1: Thou should listen to the other person When someone is making a request or asking a favor, whether right or wrong, they have a right to be heard. Listen to what the other person is saying. Do not interrupt them mid-sentence and adamantly say “NO”. Listening to the other person without interrupting is a key sign of respect.
It also helps you understand the issue and point being made. They may have a point and you might be wrong and through listening, you realize your mistake.
Step 2: Thou should say “no” face to face You want your “no” to come out respectfully and nicely, so show the other person some courtesy by saying it face-to-face. Sending emails or messages can seem very cowardly, or can come across as being highly rude. It may seem as if you are not really bothered, or did not think enough of the other person’s request.
Step 3: Thou should be diplomatic Adamantly saying “no”, might hurt the feelings of the other person, and may leave you feeling guilty for the same. The point is to say no, yet diplomatically. Listen to what is being asked, and tell them you will check your schedule and get back to them.
May be after a while, you can respond, if you can’t take the responsibility. The person might not feel hurt since you at least gave his/her request some consideration.
Step 4: Thou should not feel guilty Guilt is a very complex but powerful emotion. It makes you feel all squirmy and small inside. So if you say no and you start to feel guilty, ask yourself why, and examine your own response. For example, say your co-worker Bob asks you to baby-sit his kid but you have to take your own kids to the park.
You want to turn Bob down but you feel guilty about it, since he’s your friend and colleague. But you owe your kids as well. Explain the situation to yourself and tell yourself “it’s okay to say NO once in a while”. If your guilty feelings continue to plague you, make it up to Bob in some other way.
Step 5: Thou should be firm and stand your ground One minute you say no, the next with a little pressure, you say yes. Such changing tactics can lower your impression in others eyes, and you can come across as someone who can’t make up his/her mind, or worse; a pushover.
In a calm and firm tone, say no and mean it. And stick to your decision.
Step 6: Thou should not lose your temper Saying no to someone or turning down someone’s request does not have to start a World War. You may be accused of taking sides, or being unfair, or whatever may be the case.
The accusation may or not be true but you should control your temper and be nice. Let the other person lose his/her temper, you must remain calm and show maturity. You should say no without being mean and ill-tempered.
Step 7: Thou should try to preempt and break it down gently Trying to preempt requests is much easier than saying “no.” If you know that requests are likely to be made, just make yourself clear amidst all that you are going to be busy with certain things and that there is no room for other responsibilities in any case. By doing this; probably, the people around you will know, you are busy with other responsibilities and will not approach you with their requests.
Step 8: Thou should be honest with the other person The essence of saying no respectfully, is to put in genuine efforts and be honest in your ways. Only then will you be able to find a win-win solution. Honestly state your reason for not taking up the responsibility, and if you know some other person who could take up the responsibility, then without selling that person out, or adding to his/her responsibility, suggest them to take a look at it.
Children who are not let to run the show own a sense of knowing they are cared for and that nothing bad will be allowed to happen to them, even though they may still do bad things from time to time. Children with ineffective disciplining are often frightened by the sense of control they have over the world.
Though it may seem hard to believe, children do not want to be the ones in charge, the world is a scary place to them and they need their parents to guide them and be their inner strengths.’ If we don’t get better at saying “no,”
- Other peoples’ priorities will take precedence over ours.
- Mere acquaintances—people we barely know!—will crowd out time with family and close friends.
- We will not have the time we need for rest and recovery.
- We will end up frustrated and stressed.
- We won’t be able to say “yes” to the really important things.
This last one was the clincher for me. Every time I say “no” to something that is not important, I am saying “yes” to something that is.
In the end, what really matters is you say no is a courteous way and honestly. Try to find a solution to their problem, if you really wish to help them in some way. And there is nothing wrong in saying no once in a while, so stop feeling guilty for having said no!
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