Say No Without Saying No

Parenting is a balance of knowing how to raise your child with integrity preparing him for the real world. There are numerous delicate things we need to pay attention while shaping up our child. Discipline being on top of the list. There would be instances when you can’t let the child have his way and saying No becomes invariably difficult. But does your child want to hear NO….And when frequently used the word loses its meaning. And being a naysayer gets old for both of you quickly. A well known child psychologist says that being negative all the time,after a while your child stops listening to you. It is a reflex response and often instinctual. And saying No over and again shuts your child out.
So how to adopt effective parenting without saying No? And why? The answer is very simple….They listen better. So why not adopt a system where our kid listens better,be more obedient and disciplined? Disciplining without saying no means being intentional with words and give clear instructions. Use of positive phrases show more results than saying a simple “no”.
Here are few alternatives for say no….
  • Say what you want the child to do rather than saying NO. It he demands an ice cream,instead of saying No gently say he can enjoy an ice cream after his meal..
  • Offer an alternative.Suppose your child wants to play longer in a park you may suggest doing some drawing and colouring at home. Offering a choice makes him feel important. He can choose and it makes him feel better.
  • Offer an explanation instead of a blunt No. Children are likely to do as told if they are given an understanding of why they are being asked to do so. For instance if he scribbles over walls with crayons,tell him it’s not a good idea. Crayons leave marks on the walls. Lets colour on some papers.And see the difference…
  • Empathise and Say yes. When he wants to play longer in the park,agree by saying how hard it is to leave the place that you enjoy so much. And gently lead the way towards where you want to.
  • Distact your child instead of saying No. Use your imagination and cook up some fascinating talk about a cartoon character or a favourite toy. Playfully divert his mind.
  • Instead of a NO ask for your child’s help. After finishing play with toys instead of saying no more playing,suggest picking up toys together.
  • Shift NO to a more authority person,maybe a doctor, is more effective. If your child want to eat chocolates tell him doctor asked not to for its not good for your teeth.
  • Promise for later. This keeps a child in anticipation and you won’t need to say no. Maybe an I O U note  be given.

Kids usually learn the meaning of NO by the tone you use. So you can use the same firm tone without the negative word. But reserve this tone for the times when your child should know not to push himself over the boundaries. Likewise you can develop a look,a penetrating glare that your child understands and which signifies that stop what you doing.And a child understands this better when coming from dad. So save these extreme steps for you and not the mother.

Saying no to your kid can be like a weapon, but some instances call for a firm NO. But it need not sound harsh. It can be soft and playful but with a note of authority. Familialise your child with NO playfully. Try saying it gently with warmth.Let there be eye contact. Accompany NO with endearing phrases. This softens the harshness and the child won’t feel intimidated. Discipline is necessary but let there be tenderness love and compassion to back up. And you would do a fabulous job of raising a wonderful child.