Saying no!

To be seen on “A Child Grows in Brooklyn”

Saying no to a child isn’t always easy. Here are a few things to keep in mind that often help. (Fair warning just because these ideas can work doesn’t make them easy to pull off.)

1. Stay calm. As a tense tone usually breeds a tense reaction do whatever you can to keep your wits about you when telling your child no. As every parent is human of course this isn’t always possible. However, things will go better for you and your child if and when you can manage to take a deep breath, remember that things are not be as bad as they seem and utter a calm but clear “no” or “sorry we’re not going to do that” before moving on.

2. Sometimes a simple no doesn’t offer enough for a child to understand what are you asking. When this is the case use as few words as possible to make your point. As children often tune out long adult explanations, the more you explain the more likely you are to get an equally long-winded negative response.

3. Don’t let your child’s upset “get the best of you.” I agree this is often the hardest thing of all to pull off BUT it may be the most important. When a child is told no to something they want they are usually at least mildly disappointed. Of course disappointment can easily turn into frustration or anger. Even if a child is raging out of control it usually helps if a parent can keep their cool and “let the fire burn itself out” before suggesting a new activity or sorting through possible solutions to the problem at hand. Simple steps like counting to 10 (or even 100) can help parents be more in charge of their response.

4. Having an array of fun things to do at your disposal can often increase the likelihood of a successful recovery from an upsetting “no” from mom or dad. Doing something that puts a smile on everyone’s face can give parent and child the opportunity to “forget about” the limit that had to be set.