When we tell our children “no”, their response is often to whine, complain, get upset, ask the same question again hoping for a different answer, ask why, etc. And it can start to feel draining to us parents (and to the child too). But saying “no” is a very necessary part in helping our children grow and stay safe. It also models for our children the ability to say “no” themselves, which an important life skill.
With a change in wording, we can often avoid the emotional meltdown that follows our “no”, we can help our child to understand why we said “no”, and we can do this all while staying calm and firm in our answer, modeling for our children the life skill of saying “no”.
1. “I’m unwilling to…”
2. “I can’t let you…”
3. Make it ok to say “yes”.
4. Say “Yes” in fantasy
5. Tell your child when they can have what they want.
6. Offer a choice
7. “That doesn’t work for me.”
8. “Let’s do something different.”
9. “I can help you.”
10. “I’m not ready for you to do that yet.”
11. “What do you think you would need to do before I say yes.”
12. “I would be willing to…”