How to Say No to a Child and Mean It

Whether you tell your child he can’t go outside and play because it’s too cold, or you say no when he asks to go a friend’s house before he’s finished his homework, hearing the word ‘no’ once in a while can be good for kids. It sets a clear boundary and when used appropriately, shows you care.

There are many ways to tell a child no, but not all of them are effective. If you say no to your child, it’s important to show that you mean it.

Give a Definitive Answer

When you mean no, make your answer definitive.  Say it in a firm, authoritative manner to show that you mean business.

Offer a Short Explanation

A short explanation about why you’re saying no can turn your refusal into a learning experience.

Make it Clear You Won’t Cave In

No matter how much whining, begging, or pleading your child does, don’t give in.

Follow Through with Consequences When Necessary

If your child’s behavior becomes disruptive, follow through with a consequence.

Deal with Your Emotions in a Healthy Way

Remind yourself that it’s OK for your child to experience uncomfortable emotions, like sadness and disappointment. In fact, saying no to your child’s requests give him an opportunity to practice dealing with his feelings in a socially appropriate manner.

Make Sure You’re Saying Yes Often

Saying no to all of your child’s requests can be harmful. Kids need the opportunity to explore different places and try new things. So it’s important that you grant your child permission to do the things that are good for his development.

Source:  VeryWell