What Should Parents Do When Kids Say ‘No’

When Mum answers ‘no’ to kids who are asking permission to play outdoors on a sunny Saturday afternoon, it’s really a stern ‘NO’. And such an answer apparently begets follow up orders like ‘Finish your homework first’, ‘Tidy your room’ or ‘Put the toys away first’. However, kids are clever enough to look for other options, like taking a chance on Dad’s more favorable side which could be a zesty ‘YES’.

Parents are responsible for providing their children basic needs: food, shelter and education. However, sufficient provision of these material necessities even become insignificant when other equally important factors — like emotional, mental and psychological elements — are insufficiently fulfilled or performed. This could impact children’s behaviour, which may lead them to obscure their emotions. Misconduct, dishonesty and disobedience are apparent behaviours.

Parents need to balance all the life elements in order to hone their children the right way, and if some things sway outward, Mum and Dad should synchronise their moves in putting things back in queue. Here’s what parents should do when kids say ‘no’.

Psychology says, the ‘no’ answer is common among toddlers and pre-schoolers to any given situation. When told to go to sleep or pick up their toys, these little ones would either shake their heads or stubbornly say ‘no’.

It is not easy parenting oppositional children but just like great rat traps, patience and trying on some disciplinary hacks — plus a bit of reverse psychology — will get the job done with those little ones.

Understand the psychology of the word

Parents need to understand that the reason why kids, especially toddlers, say ‘no’ is because they think they can do things. Being able to say ‘no’ to something creates a great deal of power in their minds. Moreso, most of the time the child’s refusal to follow instructions is a matter of exercising control over things which they have just discovered, and is motivated by the sense of seeing or experiencing more of that thing.

When in such situations, gather more patience by giving your child a little more time to indulge in whatever he is doing. You may continue to calmly remind him from time to time like ‘..so, can we go and wash up now?’, until he stops, finishes or gives up.

Your vocabulary becomes your child’s

Walk your talk — if you want to hear less of the word ‘no’ from your child, you have to do your part and utter less of it too. This does not mean however that you say ‘yes’ all the time, but choose the proper and appropriate words and answers.

Take the case when your toddler asks for another chocolate after he’s eaten one. Instead of saying, ‘No, you can’t have another one’, you can answer ‘Sure, Mummy’s gonna give you another when you come home after school tomorrow with a star on your hand, promise’.

Both Mum and Dad agrees

A constant ‘no’ answer from a child is frustrating but can be easily coped with if both parents understand and skillfully respond to the child appropriately.


**Collaborative post**

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