How to say no to kids – in ways they will understand

How to say no  to kids in ways they will understand  – let’s take a look.


How to say no to kids

The angry no

Have you ever said ….

Hey, kid, what part of no did you not understand? That may be a temporary solution, but angry words rarely prevent future disagreements.


The becuase ‘no’

Another familiar way to attempt understanding can be expressed by the parent in one word: because. When a kid asks why something is denied, the meaning is: I said no because I’m the parent and because you’re the child, so you have to obey me.

This is also a very temporary solution, and forgotten by the questioning child within a few days or hours. The because I’m the boss routine becomes even less effective when the child grows up to be a teen who is taller than the parent, and strongly protests the because clause.


The willing to discuss it ‘no’

You may say no in effective language your kids of all ages will understand more effectively if you add: but I’m willing to discuss it calmly if you do, too. Try to get the situation calmed by sitting down together without the anger, resentment, disobedience or other negative feelings.

Once both of you are being reasonable, offer an alternative solution.


There is no I in Team

The need to say no to a kid can become less frequent and more positive when you’re able to build a spirt of family responsibility, a traditional we’re-all-in-this-together attitude. This positive building tool can be most effective when there’s more than one child in the household. The younger ones learn by example to imitate behavior habits set by reasonably-behaved older siblings.

Nothing is ever perfect in parent-child relationships. Even with ultimate understanding and cooperation, there will always be moments for those necessary words of authority. Whether it involves a tot’s tantrum or a teen’s demand, you’ll need to say no in language your kids will understand and to say it with clarity , love and a willingness to explain.


How to say no to kids – final thoughts

Softening a no with an alternative option is often powerfully effective and a partial yes can go a very long way too. Distraction and compromise are two of a parents most effetive tools and can diffuse a no well. They want more TV? Bake with them instead. They want to stay  up till 10pm, negotiate 9.30 instead. Young people are way more likely to be cooperative if you show you are listening, care and want to meet them at least half way.


How to say no to kids – try empathy and communicating love. be reasonable, fair and calm headed.


Further reading

How to calm an angry child

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