The so-called do’s and don’ts of parenting are enough to send a mom into orbit, but for a lot of moms repeatedly saying “no” to their child can really cause self doubt.
Listen, I’m completely guilty of telling my kids “no”…a lot! A few examples: “No, you can’t climb onto the window sill;” “No, you can’t eat rocks;” and my personal favorite, “No, you can’t hit your brother with your Buzz Light Year toy.”
But, I do always follow up the “no” with some sort of explanation, which many would agree is the right thing to do, but my explanations are usually delivered tersely or in an annoyed state.
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I get that always saying “no” can become ineffective when overused, but making sure you effectively explaining to your child why he or she cannot have or do what they want is a critical part of the equation.
I decided to pay attention to how other moms in my hood handle this situation. One mom I know avoids the word altogether and instead just jumps right into reasoning with her child and explaining why the behavior isn’t acceptable. That sounds reasonable, but that ship sailed for me a long time ago.
Another mom I know acknowledges why her child wants to do the bad behavior and then diverts the bad behavior with another activity. And one mom I know just puts the kids in time out and instead lets the child offer the explanation.
I think all of these methods can be effective; if used consistently and provided the parent believes in it. I guess it’s just a matter of what feels right to you as a parent. For me, I think its ok to sometimes just say “no” (especially when it comes to safety issues), but I’m also a big believer in “because I said so”, which for me can often be all the explanation I need to give. What do you think? Tell me on Twitter at @yeseniaalmonte.