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5 ways to avoid saying "NO" to your child

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Every parent has to say “NO” to their child at some point, that’s real life and children do need boundaries to live by. However, the “NO” word can become a battle of wills between you and your child, rather like taking a red rag to a bull.  If you are fed up of saying “NO” and the drama it causes think about how your child feels? 

A study shows that a toddler can hear the word “NO” up to 400 times a day. To a child saying “NO” can feel like you are rejecting them and I’m sure you agree that 400 times is a lot of rejection to cope with. Fortunately, there are some highly effective positive ways of avoiding saying “NO”, that will help to keep the peace in your home.

Children live in the moment and as a parent we want to encourage this. Therefore, we need to think about how we can inspire children to feel good, in that moment of not having what they want. It’s not rocket science to do, it just takes a little practise and perseverance.

5 ways to avoid saying “NO” to your child.

 1. Ask for what you want

The essential key thing to do is to ask your child what you want them to do.  This simply means taking a short moment before you say no, to actually think about what it is that you would like your child to do instead of simply. 

For example; 

  • Share your toys
  • Walk on the grass
  • Wait for tea and come and help me chop the carrots

2. Re-direct your child

More often than not, re-directing your child to what you want them to do will effectively stop problems escalating.  Your child’s mind needs positive re-direction to help to nurture a positive mind-set and for emotional well-being.

For example; 

Come and sit here and play this game with me

  • Let’s go and play with your brother
  • Shall we do some drawing together
  • You play with the bricks and in a minute we can go out

3. Reduce the risk

Setting a child’s environment up for success and meeting their needs is going to save you a lot of stress in the long run and reduce the risk of you needing to say “No”. 

For example;

Keep your environment child friendly and safe

  •  Keep your child busy with stimulating toys and games and things to do
  •  Have routines and structure so that they can learn to predict what is coming next
  • Adjust plans to meet their needs and avoid unwanted behaviour, such as when they are ill and need to rest at home

4. Say “YES”

Say “YES” as often as you can.  Often the word “YES” can easily replace saying no which will help your child to feel far happier to do as you ask.

For example;

  • Yes, it would be nice to have Jamie home after school, let’s choose a good night for everyone and we can ask his mum. (Instead of, no not tonight)
  • Yes, you can play on your Xbox when your homework is done. (Instead of, no you’re not allowed on your Xbox until you have done your homework)

5. Make it fun

Children just want to have fun, by being warm and responsive and making things fun for them you are sure to avoid needing to say “NO”.  See how long you can do it J

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