What’s Wrong with saying No?
As adults we hear the word “No” daily. There is nothing wrong with one person telling another person they can’t do something when the person who is hearing the word understands why they are hearing the word. That’s life! For some reason parents feel they can’t tell their child “No” and instead try to redirect the child to do something else. Since they are scared the child will not like them if they told them “No” or they will have a undesired behavior.
I have news for you, it’s a parent’s job to make your child upset along with teaching them how to handle the information coming at them that they don’t want to hear. The best compliment for me is when a child shuts the door in my face when I show up (this means the parents are following through with what I taught them) or when they tell me how mean I am. That’s when I know I’m doing my job. It might sound crazy to some people that it is a compliment when I hear that I’m not their favorite person to see since I know they are out of their comfort zone and I can teach them how to handle the situations that do come up. You can’t protect your child from the world and the world can be a very mean place at times. How are we going to help our children be resilient as adults?
First off, there is nothing wrong with the word “No”. When you are telling a child ‘No” that they can’t do something no matter the age you need to explain your thought process of why it isn’t safe or why you feel they can’t do what they want to do at that time. If you tell a child “No” and not explain why, that is when the issue becomes bigger and the relationship starts to struggle. The child starts to see you as the parent who is a control freak and won’t let them do anything they want to do in their mind. Then they start to push the boundaries. There will be a time when the child will start to not listen to you when you say “No” to them since all they hear is the word “No” and not why you say “No”.
The key to saying “No” is explaining why it isn’t the best idea of what they want to do. The way I work with children is when I say the word “No” to a child it is because there is a safety issue that comes up with what they want to do and that is the only time. Instead of saying “No” I might ask the child if they think it is a good idea or give them another choice and see what they want to do. But I won’t say “No” and just walk away since I’m the adult and they are the child and they need to listen to me since I’m the adult. As a parent it is important to not fall in that authoritarian role since it will only work for a little bit, but then the behaviors can get worse since children want to have some control in their life and the way they will feel that control is by not listening to their parent.
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Founder & Executive Director of KFS School