Sometimes you have to say “no”

Strict parent

Sometimes you have to say “no”

We’re all familiar with the face and sound of a toddler who has been told he or she can’t do or have something. Even though it can be easy to give in, learning that sometimes they have to hear “no” is vital for a child’s development.

You can’t always be positive

There is a lot of emphasis in modern parenting on having a positive attitude towards your children at all times. Parents who follow this philosophy will look at other tactics to change behaviour, rather than saying “no”. They believe that they are forming a better relationship with their children, but this is not necessarily the case.

Children need boundaries

We all need rules and boundaries in order to function, and children are no different. Teaching them from a young age that some actions are not acceptable is good for them and will improve their social skills and overall development. This might be appropriate when they are not sharing their food or toys or refusing to take turns when playing toddler games, for example.

Being able to say “no” doesn’t mean that you should be shouting it constantly because this can reduce its impact. The phrase is most beneficial when it’s used at the right time and in moderation. When you’re saying “no”, you need to be firm but remain calm and tell your child what behaviour you want them to change. If it’s possible, you can reinforce this with a positive note, such as telling them they are allowed to play when they’ve finished their dinner.


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