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The Art of Saying “NO!”

The title of this blog is The Art of Saying “NO!” It makes me laugh because saying NO to your kids can be just that…an art!

  • Will they throw a temper tantrum in public if I don’t buy them this…?
  • What will the family think of my “oh so sweet child” if I allow the tantrum to escalate?

It can get pretty hairy with kids when they are learning what they can and cannot get away with. I would love to say that it only lasts toddler-hood but that would be a complete lie as I am still practicing this art with my 6 year old and I am guessing it will continue until they are ready to sail on their own and leave the home for their own adventure.

If you change your mindset a bit and look at it at an individual level, it gets to be a bit more FUN (yes, I said FUN). For example, our oldest daughter was the easy going baby that, when told NO, would quiver her lip and start to cry. We had to be gentle with her on the NO and redirect her instead and it worked like a charm. So, for her, she didn’t NEED to hear the word NO. Don’t get me wrong, we still told her NO but it had a PROFOUND effect on her.

Now with our second daughter, she was a pistol from the start and when she heard the word NO, it was like a switch in her and that her bad behavior became her ultimate goal…to do whatever it was she was NOT to do. Whether it was hitting her sister, pulling hair, sticking her finger in a socket, playing with the blinds, etc. If she heard the word NO, it was a guarantee that her next move would be that exact thing. So, for her we did redirecting and avoided the word No as well…but for different reasons. It reminds me of when I was younger. Friends of mine and I would tell each other…”Don’t yawn!” And by golly, what do you think we did EVERY.SINGLE.TIME??? We yawned….Why did we do this? Because we were restricted from doing so and it was on our mind.

Same goes for kids. Tell them NO and that becomes their barrier that they want to break down.

So how do you then utilize the word NO and have it be effective??? I mean, come one, everyone needs to hear the word NO and not have an adverse reaction to it at some point in their life (we don’t want a bunch of spoiled adults running around right???). My advice is to use the word in moderation, use it effectively (such as if a child is in danger), read your child’s cues with the word (how do they react to the word and what is the outcome?), and stick to your guns if you say it (don’t back down because of a little temper tantrum).

You have got this momma or pops and your child will thank you someday for raising them with such thought and determination. Remember, we are raising future men and women…who do you want that little person to become?


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