Positive Parenting Tips For Saying No
I’ve been using Positive Parenting tips for saying no for some time because, although it’s good to try and say yes a lot and we all want to try and be fun parents, it is also essential to hold boundaries, and sometimes we need to say no. A neurodevelopmental specialist explains how boundaries help children grow into respectful and confident adults. We can however make sure that we deliver this message with love and in a way that educates our children. If we put the effort into thinking about how we speak to our children, then we are going to be nurturing our relationship with them. Remember we won’t be able to always get it right, and that’s ok. Our children need authentic parents, not perfect parents.
When I prepare my mind to say no to my children, I try to remember not to be defensive, because I know they will pick up on that. Instead, I try to approach the situation with confidence, love, and understanding. I definitely do not always get this right. However, I have noticed that when I use examples like the ones below, my children are so much happier to accept my “no”, and it leads to more teamwork in the future. After all, we are on the same team as our children, we are rooting for them.
5 Positive Parenting tips for saying no
- Explain why
I know you really want chocolate for breakfast, I’d love to have that too. Mummy/daddy is here to help you make better choices for your body and to help you look after it. Do you want “ healthier option” or “ healthier option” for breakfast?
Giving a child an explanation can help them to understand that we have boundaries for love. Giving them options also helps them to build their autonomy.
2. Acknowledge their need to connect
I would love to come and watch you do that, I just need to finish doing this. Then I will be right there and I am so excited!
When our children want to share something with us this is our chance to help build their self-esteem. However, it is not always a convenient time for us because of various reasons. We can let them know this while also making them feel heard, wanted, and important.
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3. Give structure
First, we are going to do this, and next, we will be able to do that.
Children live in the “now” and in the present moment. By giving our children structure and a “now” and “next”, we can help them understand that no doesn’t mean never. We can clearly lay out what is happening now, and then what we will be doing after. They used this strategy a lot when I was working in a school with autistic children because it helps with communication.
I can see you are feeling sad/frustrated/angry/scared. I’m not going to allow you to do that because it’s my job to keep you safe.
When our children are emotionally dysregulated they can sometimes act in ways that we need to stop for safety. This is when we need to calm ourselves and share this calm with them. So that we don’t make them feel bad for having such emotions, we need to validate them first and take control of the situation. This helps them feel safe and then they are going to be able to learn from how we handle the situation.
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5. Develop negotiation skills
I can’t allow that, but I want to hear your point of view and then we can think of something that works instead.
When we need to place a boundary in place, we need to be confident in this decision. Children learn how to hold healthy boundaries by having parents who model this confidently. Our children may get upset and that’s ok, we can still show compassion while they work through their emotions. We also need to hear what they have to say because we want them to develop the confidence that their voice matters.
Bonus tip: recognize when your child sticks to a boundary or does it off their own back! this recognition will be very meaningful to them.