The art of saying NO

Let’s dwell on something very important – how to say no to a child?

The easy one’s are situations when you know that the child is being unreasonable and relenting to his or her request is going to do more harm than good particularly in situations or request where there is an element of danger as well.

Tricky ones are situations when you know the child is just being a child and his or her ask with expectations oozing out of their eyes and they waiting with bated breath for your answer are the real killers.

We may relent at times and give in depending upon the nature of the ask / situation.

And at times just to set an example you would deny the request. Now depending upon the desperation level within the child and how seriously he or she takes you –  the request is likely to come back through a differentiated pitch with a couple of promises also thrown in just to elicit a yes out of you.

Usually here the no becomes sterner and the arguments and counter arguments continue till such time either party gives in. Reason may or may not work at this stage and at time theatrics and threats are also likely to be thrown in.

While I have elaborated a rather lengthy technique to a simple “no” I believe and I have seen many of us being impatient, shouting, threatening and at time even smacking the child in order to establish supremacy and get order into the situation. Is this really the right technique?  I am not convinced.

I am sure there is psychological and emotional damage that we may be causing inadvertently. Not from denying an unnecessary or irrelevant treat but using physical or verbal force.



2 thoughts on “The art of saying NO

  1. Today I am going to turn my NO to one of my kids into a yes when he comes back from school – I am going to explain exactly why I am doing that. I am going lift a punishment of “no ipad for a week”! I agree. Smacking to establish supremacy is counter productive – that’s logical – if we scream and let our kids see us lose control – this is exactly what they will learn from us. We have to be firm but not lose it! If they see us lose it, they will learn to lose it too – andthis will bring them problems in later life as well.

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