Saying No to Kids

 As a parent, you usually want to give to all demands your kids make. You just can’t say a no to your kids and the kids as usual, hate to hear a no. But the truth is that you need to train your children to accept disappointments, denials, and refusals. Modern life is not only competitive but also stressful in many aspects. Children have to gradually adapt themselves to this demanding environment at some point of time.

I have seen children throwing a tantrum, rolling on the floor/road, and crying at the top of their voices in demanding something that they want. Even worse, the parents, instead of telling them to stop the tantrum, enjoy it and give the child what (s)he is asking for.

Yes, it is difficult to see your child hurt, but is it better that your child is hurt when you are around make them understand in private and also to lend them morale support. This is exactly why parents need to train their young ones to go through denials and disappointments and allow them to learn to arise from the setbacks. Children must be taught to take a no, not only from parents but also friends, teachers, neighbours, and even strangers.

  • Refuse without saying no: First start without saying a no to your child. We don’t have to sound negative all the time. Now, how do you refuse without saying a no? When you 4-year old child picks a chocolate, you immediately say a no!!  Why don’t you rephrase the statement a bit?

Avoid: No chocolate before lunch/dinner.
Here it sounds as though you are refusing the chocolate though you only mean to say no chocolate before the meal; can be had later.

Better: You can have the chocolate after lunch/dinner.
Here it sounds as though you are allowing the child to have the chocolate. Here, even though you mean to say no chocolate before the meal, that is left unsaid.

  • Let them decide: Most of the kids are not interested in doing home work. Instead they either want to play or watch something on TV. Parents end up pushing them to do the homework and the adamant child keep refusing to do it. Most of the tie, the child ends up hating to do the home work. The best thing is to give them an option and let them decide.

Avoid: First do your homework and then play.

Better: Decide what you want to do—-play for half an hour and then do your homework or do your homework now and then watch your favorite cartoon show?

The child will probably decide the latter.  By offering them an option, you help your children feel like they have some power over the situation. They also feel that they have the right to make the decision. For kids uptill five years of age, this also encourages them to make simple choices and develop a sense of independence and competence.

  • Never satisfy all demands: All parents derive immense satisfaction from fulfilling all the wishes of their children. It makes them feel that they are good parents. Remember, prevention is better than cure. As parents, you should deliberately leave some wishes unfulfilled. If every whim and fancy of the children is entertained and fulfilled, they will grow up to be a very self-centered person. They will also not value what they have, they will want more.

    If they don’t learn to take rejection at a little age, even small rejection at school will hurt them to a large extent.  If someone at school (may be a friend) does not reciprocate their feelings, they may get depressed or even violent. If they are not selected for a school event, they feel a sense of humiliation. Such children will not be able to take disappointments in the right spirit and there are chances that they become prone to acute depression.

  • Discipline begins at home: Some parents tend to pamper children unreasonably. Abundance of anything, ranging from toys, games, sweets and chocolates, spoils children at a very young age. Research has shown that children brought up in affluent families, where their needs are taken care of often tend to lose their power of imagination.

    They have too much on their platter that it becomes difficult for them to yearn for anything. Therefore, parents should not bombard their children with more than what is actually needed. The need for this inherent discipline has to be first followed by the parents themselves. Only then will you be prepared to prepare your children for the rough and the smooth in life.

  • Never encourage comparisons: Parents should always discourage their child’s tendency to compare his or her material assets with other children. For instance, if your child demands a toy because a neighbour has got a new one, you need not buy one for your child. You need to explain why such a craving should not be entertained. If you don’t curb this tendency at a very early stage, such children will end up constantly comparing themselves with other people.
  • Don’t try to please the kids: In order to keep their daily routine hassle-free, parents tend to please children. Remember the times you have said, “Don’t disturb me now, go watch TV instead.” The policy does not pay in the long run. When you want to stop the child form watching TV, they will not listen to you. However, over appeasement has short-term gains. Children lose respect for their parents. Therefore parents must have the courage to call a spade a spade.
  • Never give in out of guilt: Some parents tend to please their children out of guilt. They are ready to do anything for their children to get rid of their own guilt. These days the children are smart enough to know the reason behind the bribe and use it to their advantage. Therefore, parents should not let guilt get better of them. Instead they must have the courage to face the child’s tantrums and let them know that they cannot get everything they ask for.

For example: A working mother who comes home late may be harried. She may not have time for attending to the child’s homework. If the child asks for an ice cream after dinner, chances are that the mother will give in despite knowing the fact that an ice cream can cause a bad throat.

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