Parenting doesn’t start when your child is 4 or 5 or whenever you think that you need to prep them for school. If you have allowed your child to do as he or she pleases, just to keep them happy, then you may want to rethink that route. A child needs to learn what “no” means not simply to keep them from harm, but to build a foundation of discipline for their later years. If you simply give in to every whim then what are you teaching that child? If you do not know how to say no to your child, you are leading to misbehavior. To put it bluntly, you’re giving that child a false sense of entitlement.
Step 1: Start Saying No Early
There are many subtle ways to use the word and ways to say no without actually uttering the word. You can learn to say no in a positive manner. Yelling a violent, “No!”, constantly isn’t healthy either. So, what can you do? You need to find your balance. The art of saying, “no” grows right along with your baby. At around 6 months of age, you may find yourself either giving in to demand or you may find yourself beginning to say, “no”. When your baby is between 9 and 14 months, saying no is fairly easy. You’ll find yourself saying things like, “No touch.” or simply, “no no!”. Start them on yes and no early. As your baby gets older and understands more, how you say no will begin to change. A sterner voice will develop.
Step 2: Don’t Always Use The Word “No”
Don’t say the word “no” too often. If you use the word no too often then you focus on too much negativity. You don’t want your child to view the world as a negative place. When your toddler needs told no, you can begin to use expressions alongside the verbal, “no”. When expressions of disapproval are used, you can focus on the degree of using the word no. Something mild may cause your eyebrows to raise in disapproval. Other, more severe, problems may cause your face to draw down and a disapproving frown to form. Children will know which expressions to look for and thus know the severity of the “no” without you actually having to say it.
Step 3: Redirect Bad Behavior
If you find yourself saying no too often, try a different tactic. If your child is running around and getting into things, climbing, jumping, and roughhousing, instead of saying no 500 times, try taking your child to park. Find a safe place, sit down with a book or magazine and let them run. By doing so, you’re showing the child that there are appropriate places for running, jumping, and climbing as well as avoiding losing your voice telling them to stop their bad behavior.
Step 4: Don’t Give In
Do you believe that your child will simply be told, “yes” throughout life? Life is filled with “yes’s” and “no’s”. The word “no” isn’t just necessary, it’s healthy for your child to learn. No one wants to have their 6-year-old throw themselves down on the floor in a supermarket just because they were told that they couldn’t have that super chocolatey cereal. Yet, it happens. The question is, did you give in just to make them stop? If you did, then you just rewarded his misbehavior. The word,”No” is fundamental.