Saying “No” To Your Child: Is it Good or Bad? | Salma Safira Sukma from BehaviorPALS Center| Kinderkloud

Saying “No” To Your Child: Is it Good or Bad?

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Many have argued that saying “no” to your children should be avoided as they might end up doing the thing they were told not to. However, telling your child “no” might be the easiest way to discipline them. While some of these arguments are true, there are more to it that parents should know so saying “no” to your child can work properly. There are also some different strategies that you can use other than always telling them “no”. 

Here are some considerations parents should know in saying “no” to children:

A. The Frequency

Saying “no” too much is actually damaging for children as it might develop resentment and rebellion in children in the future. It can also deprive them of the word’s meaning, so they will not listen to you anyway. On the other hand, saying “no” once in a while will set a clear boundary and actually show them that you care. 

B. The Timing

Think about the timing and situations when you should say “no” to them or if you can say or do something else instead. The most appropriate timing to tell your child “no” is when there is a life-threatening situation, including when your child’s action might hurt someone else or themself, or if they might end up breaking something.

C. The How

If you have to say “no” to your child, here are some ways of how you can do it:

  1. Be firm and definitive
    It is important that you give a definitive answer to your child’s questions or requests. If you want to say “no”, do it calmly yet also firm so your child knows that you are being serious. However, if the answer is “maybe”, you should also make the uncertainty clear by trying to explain why the situation is indeed uncertain. For example, if your child wants to go to the beach, but you’re not sure about the weather, you can say “I’m not sure, the weather doesn’t look really good right now, so we’re gonna have to wait and see how it is after lunch.”
  2. Give simple explanations
    Explanations are very helpful to give your child some understanding and prevent frustrations. Keep the explanations simple but clear.
  3. Don’t give in
    It is crucial that you won’t give in and change your answer from “no” to “yes” even when your child starts begging, whining, or pleading. If you change your decision, you might accidentally reinforce their behavior and allow them to think that you don’t really mean what you said before. You should also avoid arguing your answer and try to ignore the grumbling but keep them calm and safe.
  4. Be kind to yourself
    You might find it difficult to say “no” to your child and probably feel guilty when they look upset or start to cry. Therefore, it is important to recognize your own feelings and cope with them in a positive manner. Remember that it is OK for your child to have unpleasant feelings such as sadness or disappointments because they might actually learn and practice to regulate their emotions and to react appropriately. 
  5. Make sure you also say “yes” oftenly
    Try to balance your decisions by also saying “yes” often to your child’s requests. Giving them permission to do something will open the opportunity for them to explore and try new things that are good for their development. When you want to say “yes”, consider the benefits that they might get and most importantly their safety.

 

References:

Kennedy-Moore, E. (2017, December 31). Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/growing-friendships/201712/when-and-how-say-no-kids?amp

Mitchell, M. (2022, December 12). 10 ways to say “No” without saying no. https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/discipline/tips/discipline-without-saying-no/

Morin, A. (2021, June 28). Saying no to kids and actually mean it. Very Well Family. https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-say-no-to-kids-and-mean-it-1094817

 

By: Salma Safira Sukma Ikhsani, S.Psi. from BehaviorPALS

saying, no, children, parenting

Children 4 Years - 6 Years / 4 Tahun - 6 Tahun / Parenting / Pola Asuh / Family / Keluarga / Saying “No” To Your Child: Is it Good or Bad?

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