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You Never Have to Say “No” Again!

English: My dad took this picture on the day t...

English: My dad took this picture on the day that I was the child host of the Mayor Art Show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you ever just get tired of saying that word over and over again? You know, that word…no.  Now, if you have a really little one, no works.  It’s short and sweet for your short, sweet kids.  I am talking about the older kids.  The negotiators.  For the people who see me at my practice, I am also talking about the children who are traumatized or attachment compromised, and for whom “no” is a trigger word.  The word “no” for those kids is like a magical word that can instantly build a wall (or tornado) up between you and your child that does not allow them to hear the love that parents intend behind the word “no.”

Before anyone gets all upset that I am suggesting that this word crushes fragile egos and all that nonsense, I want to make it clear that I am not advocating fear of the word “no” for parents, nor am I suggesting that children should never have to hear that word.  Let’s not pretend that “no” is never going to be a word they hear.  I am thinking you might just be tired of saying it, or you might want another option, or, like I said, for traumatized, attachment disturbed children, I’m giving you a new way to help them learn to love (trust me, “no” is a word they are familiar with anyway so no worries there).

Are you interested in knowing how this works?  Here are the conversations as they are now:

Child: Mom, can I go to the mall?

Mom: No

Child: Whhhyyyyeeee? (how do they make why into a three syllable word?)

or

Child: Dad, can I have a cookie?

Dad: No, not right now.  Dinner’s coming.

Child: Just one?

Dad: No.

Child: Please?  I promise I’ll eat my dinner!

Do I really need to write the rest of that conversation?  You already have it playing in your head at this point, right?

Here is an alternative.  I got it from the helpful folks who wrote the book Parenting with Love and Logic (find it in my recommended readings at the top right on this page)* and I am going to show you how it can work for anything.

Child: Mom, can I go to the mall?

Mom: Sure you can…on Saturday.

Child: Not today?

Mom: I think we’ll have more time to go on Saturday.

or

Child: Dad, can I have a cookie?

Dad: Sure, after dinner you can have two.

It’s that easy.  Here’s my favorite example because it takes this to the extreme and we can even laugh a little.

Teen:  Can I date a 30-year-old man with two kids?

Parents: Sure, you can date anyone you want when you’re 18.

or

Teen: Can I smoke crack?

Parent: Boy, that would make me really sad, but I guess when you are legally an adult you can make that choice.

I want to point out that I am not advocating that parents change their stance on an issue.  I am pointing out that if you are tired of saying that word over and over with the same result,  you can theoretically avoid “no” forever, and, because your child is not responding to the “no” you can sneak in a little loving too 🙂

Let me know what you think about this.  Does your child have an over the top reaction to “no,” or are you just tired of saying it?

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July 5, 2012 Posted by | child development, discipline, help for parents, Parenting | , , , | 6 Comments

   

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