When and How to say “No” To Your Child

I was over protective of my firstborn and I did everything to keep him safe from harm. Because of this, I find myself always saying “no” to him.

However, I noticed that my son started getting unruly and would stage tantrums when I refuse him.

He was starting to resent me because I keep denying him. I did not realize that my over protectiveness is making him resent me, which is why he is misbehaving.

Why Say No

“Moms know better” is a cliché that I often hear from my Mom during my growing up years.

I remember that whenever I would disobey her, I always get in trouble. Not because I am not careful but because there are things that could hurt me no matter how careful I am.

Often, children wants something because it would make them feel good but it does not necessarily mean it is good for them.

I remember a time when I wanted to eat ice cream and my Mom said no. It made me angry because earlier I wanted cookies and she said no. I wanted to eat ice cream so when she turned her back; I took the container out of the refrigerator and ate a lot. After an hour or so, my tummy started feeling funny. I spent the whole afternoon going back and forth in the bathroom pooping.

How to Say No

Saying No is a form of discipline that parents use to a child but we can actually say No without saying no.

That may sound tricky but it is not. A few tips on saying no without really saying no to your child:

Use a gentle voice

I know it is difficult to tone down your voice when you are already at the breaking point but keep yourself from raising your voice. Your child responds to your emotions so if you are angry, he will feel resented. Try telling him that he cannot have what he wants in a gentle soothing voice.

Give them alternatives

Try giving them alternatives or choices for the things they want. If they ask for junk food, offer healthier foods. If he wants to go out tell him to wait for you to finish whatever you are doing then you will go out.

My son’s love for cookies has led to him losing his appetite. I let him have one and made him choose his favorite flavor but I was firm that he could only have one. This way we both get what we want. He has his cookie and I keep him from eating too much.

My need to keep my son safe is important to me. When he wants to go out and play, instead of saying no, I would tell him to wait for me to finish my task first then we can go out.

Explain why you are saying No

When you tell your child the reason why you are saying “No”, they will understand and be more accepting of your decision.

I told my son that I did not want him eating too much cookies because it spoils his appetite. It is not because I do not want him to have a cookie but if he eats too much, he will get too full to eat his meal.

Explaining it to him made him understand that I am not really saying no to his request but merely to keep him from getting to full.

The same with his need to go out and play, I told him to wait for me so that I can go with him. I told him that it is not safe to go out alone, which is why he needs to wait for me. He understood that I am not keeping him from going out but only trying to keep him safe.

Add Comment