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Our instinct as a parent is to protect our children from every possible harm, but how we do it, is what reflects their personalities and insecurities later in life. If you are a part of the generation that is learning from their parents’ mistakes, and trying to heal from their insecurities while trying not to project it on any of your kids, we hear you. Just understand that you have to make parenting a little easier by using the word ‘No’ for your children sometimes.
Let’s start with one of the hardest No you would have to use, when you are not able to give in during tantrums. This is when you use the gentle control approach. just keep holding your child and calmly give them very clear instructions, maintain the boundaries set earlier. Calm them down before repeating the instructions. You can do this by asking them to hug you, telling them it’s okay and that you love them.
This shows your child they aren’t being punished but their behaviour isn’t going to be tolerated either. The minute we give in, they will think tantrums are an effective way of getting what they want! And if we are harsh with them, they’ll feel completely out of control, unheard, and misunderstood.
The second tricky situation, When your child learns the word ‘No’, they will be using it left, right and centre! But this is where you play smart by using the method ‘OR’. Ask your child what they want, to give them a sense of choice – “Will you eat beans or peas for lunch?” Your child will most likely choose one of them, giving them no space to say “No vegetables”.
A ‘No’ that is difficult for all of us is limiting the usage of electronics! Remember, children will not respect your opinion if you are not following it either! You can try to read, play games, have family activities to show them fun alternatives to pass one’s time!
Add a loud and clear NO for your child to postpone or procrastinate. Bring in the ideology of completing tasks one can do immediately! Snooze buttons have spoiled us rotten! Don’t let that continue to the other phases of their life.
Say ‘No’ to cultivating the thought that they are so special that the world owes them something. The habit of working to get what they want, consistency and to have patience needs to be cultivated in them. Try saying ‘No’ with conditions, tell them what they need to achieve on their own if they want to go shopping. Add a condition to your ‘Yes’, such as If they do the dishes for the week, they can go shopping. This way, they will value what they get as well.
Another ‘No’ that you have to use wisely, is to postpone gratification! They may get used to the ‘high’ feeling and push the activities that don’t give them the same feeling. Tell them the rewards they are getting, but give it to them slowly or in parts, not immediately!
Lastly, the ‘No’ that needs to be taught is for them not to settle for anything less than what they deserve, to stand for themselves and others. More than anything, this will leave an everlasting positive impact on their self-worth, something they will thank you for in the future.