Saturday, July 18, 2009

How to Say "No" to your child

This post is in response to gab’s mom’s question from my last blog. As you all know, gab’s mom is also Clarence’s godmother and a good friend of mine. Here’s her question:

"i should start saying NO to him! i'm the mom, yeah? LOL

but wait, he's just 1 and 9 mos, should i let him win for now? ha ha ha! i just thought that he might be too young for a resounding NO! what do you think?"

My last post was on how to deal with your toddler when all you hear from him is “No”. Now, I’ll share with you how to say “No” to your child in other ways. It’s parent’s turn to say “No” in ways that (I believe) will be effective in the child’s development regardless of the age. Constantly saying “No” to your child causes it’s meaning to lose its sense. When your child always hears “No”, “Stop” or “Don’t” he’s most likely to become frustrated or afraid to try new things. He can’t build his confidence when you always think that he can’t be messy, risky or free. Though our objective is to protect our child, it’s still better that he will learn this (our objective) by himself---- on WHY we are resistant in his actions. Consider this example, when your child is about to reach the toilet water, of course, your first response is to say “No!” that’s fine (to say No at his first attempt) but it will be more effective when you support it with an explanation. Like “That’s dirty!” or “Yucky! It will make you sick!” So the next time he goes for the toilet again (which he will surely do), instead of “No”, you can just say “Dirty!”, “Yucky” with an exaggerated disgusted face expression. This will help your child understand WHY, and the toilet will be less attractive for him.

Another example is when your child asks for his toy during meal time, of course you will say No again. No, no and no!... That’s kind of irritating on him also, let’s put ourselves into their shoes, it’s like what we feel when our spouses tell the same thing on us in an argument. So here’s another way you can say No to your child the next time he asks for a toy during meal time. “Okay, son you can have/play your toy but it will be later after you finish your food” or "YES! yes, you'll have your toy once dinner is done". "Okay" and "Yes" are better in hearing for them but you can see there’s still a compromise. It’s a bargain that they will surely accept instead of NO (no toy) at all.

My last example is making yourself responsible as a grown-up. You want to protect your child but you are the one who’s sometimes making things dangerous for him. You don’t like to say No all the time so you have to do something on the things and place your child is wandering. Make his world a childproof environment and his toys safe for him. Like when your child tried to touch an electrical outlet, you’ll be there again to hysterically say “No!” but if you already put outlet plugs on it, there’s no reason for you to worry and your child will be free from hearing the No word constantly. If he kept on going to the kitchen or toilet, you can use toddler SAFETY gates or door knob locks. No one else could know what your child needs to be protected but YOU. Be proactive and Beat the Negative. Yes! It rhymes again.


gab's mom said...

wow! thanks for your advice al... and thanks for putting my link. hehehehe.

i sure will remember your tips! it's nice to have friends who are willing to share when they know better, thanks!!! :-)

ezekiel13 said...

Those are some info from Clarence's teachers, other parents and own experiences.. hehe.. hope it helps!!!