"Peaceful parenting isn't about never saying NO. It is teaching children that hearing NO is not the end of the world".
One of the hardest parts of parenting is to refuse something our kids ask for. We usually try to be firm, but end up giving them what they want, in order to have peace or avoid being embarrassed in front of our friends or in public places.
Another reason why parents give their child everything they want is because of the popular parenting myth which says that if you give your children everything they want, you are proving to them that you love them. But in fact, “sometimes loving your child means setting limits, giving consequences and saying NO”.
Although saying NO is not always easy, it is in fact necessary and more constructive to your than you think. Here are 6 ways to say NO to your kids:
- In contrary to the myth stated above, your role as a loving parent is to provide your child with everything they need, not everything they want. It is therefore important that you teach them the difference between “I want” and “I need".
- Foster gratitude in your children. By learning to be thankful for what they have, children feel satisfied and demand less. It is a hard progressive learning, but very effective in giving high sense of appreciation for the things they have.
- Use alternative words to NO and avoid negative words. For example, instead of saying “no, you can’t buy this…” you can say “instead of buying this…, what if you…?”
- Educate them on cautious spending so they will be equipped to spend sensibly when they grow up and know the value of money.
- Raise them to have “more of less”, by showing them that the more they have, the more they want. And by always wanting more, one can never be satisfied. Hence, the importance of tip number 2.
- Find out the hidden reason for wanting to buy something. Is it jealousy of people who own more? Do they want to impress someone? Are they trying to compensate a loss or loneliness by buying unnecessary items?
By following these steps and incorporating them into your parenting approach, you will not only learn to say NO in an effective way, but you will also contribute to your child’s healthy development. It is by refusing now and declining certain things, that your children will be able to know their limits later.
Start today and be a more assertive parent, you will not regret it!
Youth, Parent and Family Coach