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When we think of our “sweet” toddlers, many of us find it nearly impossible to tell them “no”. That is really something that they need to hear to make them the kind of people you would really like them to be. There are effective ways of saying “no” and here they are:

Why Say “No”?

Before we get in to this topic proper, it is really necessary for us to understand that there are cogent reasons we have to tell our children “no” sometimes. Three things that quickly come to mind are to help your child in: Tolerating disappointments and frustrations and helping your child learn how to delay gratification.

When you let your child have his/her way all the time, you are creating some problems for them. These are some of the problems they may have: Keeping friends, waiting their turn, playing with others, and group interaction. I am sure as parents we would not want that for our kids. Let them know that there are boundaries. The Nanny always says that “boundaries make your children feel safe.”

The Art

Much as we have established the need to say “no”, we do not always have to say it categorically, there are creative ways of saying it. I divided the creative ways in to 2 age brackets.

1 -5 year olds

“Please do that somewhere else, like…” You find your child throwing his ball in the living room, a great way to say no is by asking him to move and suggest where he could play. Children need to be given direction and that is your job as a parent.

“You can have that later” Many of us have seen our little people throw tantrums over that treat they want “now”. If it is something they can have later let them know. You could suggest a healthier alternative for that moment.

“That really can injure you” When you find your daughter playing with a pair of scissors, i do believe this statement comes in handy. As said earlier children need to be told what is good for them or not.

6year olds – teens

“May I have a good reason why?” At this point you want your kids to begin thinking for themselves to an extent. It gives them a sense of growth and appreciation. If it is something they definitely cannot have you let them know giving your “good” reason.

“Try convincing me” This is quite amusing to watch as they try to convince you with their facts and pleas. As above, if after this it is a no, let them be told.

Once you say “NO”, do not change your mind as that will send conflicting signals to your child. Be gentle and firm. Since we have established the benefits of saying “no” we should forge on ready to raise our little gifts in a proper way.