“Don’t touch that!”
“Didn’t you hear me? I said NO!”
Kids are constantly being directed, corrected, and told what not to do. As parents, we may not even be aware of the number of negative or critical interactions we have with our children every day.
But our children are aware.
In fact, kids get tired of hearing the word “no” just as much as you do.
And when they’ve had enough, you will notice an increase in tantrums, back talk, rebellion or flat-out refusal to comply with your request.
In an effort to regain control, many parents push even harder on the brakes. They enforce even more rules, hold even tighter to the line and give even more negative feedback.
I suggest a different approach.
Find ways to say “YES!”
Many times, a response can be phrased positively with a little flexibility, creativity and thoughtful planning.
For Example:“Can I have a snack?” “No” Response: “No. It’s too close to dinner.” “Yes” Response: “You may have 3 carrot sticks or 6 grapes.” “Can William come over?” “No” Response: “No. You still have to finish your chores and homework.” “Yes” Response: “Sure! When you’ve finished your chores and homework you can give him a call.” Kids are bouncing on the couch “No” Response: “Stop! How many times do I have to tell you not to jump on the couch?” “Yes” Response: “It looks like you have a lot of energy, let’s find something else active for you to do.”
Finding ways to say “YES” doesn’t mean giving in to your child’s every desire. It does’t mean you let them run around dangerously, damaging property or talking disrespectfully.
But, it does mean saving your “no’s” for the BIG things, like safety concerns.
Hearing “no” less frequently helps you and your child tune in to the things that are really important.
When you look for the ways to say “yes,” you may find that your child responds with less arguing, complaining or resistance…which was your goal in the first place!