How To Change The “No” To A Positive Conversation

If you are a parent, you have said the word, “no” to your child.  Some of you say “no” on a hourly basis.  A few of you probably say “no” as soon your child begins to ask.  And there might be  a person out there who say’s “no” the minute the child wakes up.

There isn’t a problem with saying the word “no.”  We don’t want our children to get everything and anything they want.  Part of being a parent is setting boundaries for our children.

So when our child comes into the room and asks “can I juggle sharp knives while jumping on the bed?”  I am hoping everyone who reads this blog would agree that this is definitely a “no” answer.

Despite the need to use the word “no” I’m guessing some of us get tired of saying it, and are tired of the negativity. Well, we can change the “no” answer to a positive by taking a few extra steps.

Here is some sample speech you can use to change the “no” to a positive.

The first thing thing you do is start with a “yes” before giving the “no.”

Child: Dad, can I juggle sharp knives while jumping on the bed?

Me: Well, son you can juggle some balls, but let’s stay away from the knives and I would appreciate you not jumping on your bed.

Suggesting the option of juggling with balls was the “yes” in this example. When you start with a yes, it confirms that you are listening to your child and keeps the child engaged in the conversation.  Once you say, “no” it automatically makes a person shut down or if your child is young, opens the door for them to have a tantrum.

Start with a “yes,” then give the “why” if needed.

Child: Dad, can I juggle sharp knives while jumping on the bed?

Me: Well, son you can juggle some balls, but let’s stay away from the knives and I would appreciate you not jumping on your bed.

Child: Why can’t I use knives or jump on the bed?

Me: Thank you for asking. Juggling is okay but knives are very dangerous.  And it is my job to keep you safe.

Adding these two responses before the automatic “no,” will help your relationship with your child.  When you’re in auto mode, The conversation shuts down and could, after a while, shut down conversations on more serious issues. But the “yes” method shows the child that you are engaged.

The best part of the “yes” before “no” is you can practice this method every day, because as we all know, your child asks you plenty of questions.






4 Lessons For Youth Ministers

I read a blog a couple months ago titled “4 Manly Lessons from the Minor Leagues” on the website After I read the blog post, I thought it applied wonderfully to a youth minister as well. Instead of reposting it, I decided to do a little remix on those lessons, but applied them directly to youth ministry.

Lesson #1 Find a Routine

There are a log of small stuff random things a minister deals with on a weekly basis. Our jobs usually have a few big events (youth group, small group, etc…) through the week, but many times we are dealing with small things like email, social networking, copies, cleaning youth room afterwards.

In order to stay on track easier, it is important to have a routine in your schedule. You need to establish office hours. Yes, students are in school, but their parents are not. If you have a regular office schedule, parents will call you then, if not they will call you at home. Have regular hours.

During your office hours, you need to fill in your week’s calendar. The first 30 minutes of my work week, I start off with a spreadsheet, and I will fill in the already planned moments. For me I have school visits, staff meetings, local minister meetings, lunch breaks, and home. Those are nonnegotiable, unless tragedy happens then you need to be flexible. After those are filled in, I start filling those slots up with items on my to-do lists.

Now you have a solid week’s schedule and parents will know when to call.

Lesson #2 Remember the Fundamentals

After being in the same ministry for a long period of time, you can easily start forgetting some core fundamentals of youth ministry. Every list is different, but here are my fundamentals. Pastoring, counseling, adolescent development, administration, disciplining, evangelism, and teaching. These things are not an exhaustive list, but these are the areas that for us to be reminded and remembered so it can be more regular in daily ministry.

Lesson #3 Work On Your Weakness

Currently, I am working on being a more comforting person. It is a weakness of mine and lately it seems I am doing more of it. When you work with young families, you will deal with a lot of issues and stresses. Recently, I realized after talking with someone that I felt I did an inadequate job, so instead of saying “Well I am not gifted at compassion,” I decided to study more on the subject. Will I ever be the greatest comforter? No, but I can be better.

Lesson #4 Stay Positive

Ministry breeds negativity and it can be easily burdened by another’s choice of being a grouch. You will make people upset, and they will be upset for invalid reasons, but also valid reasons. But you can choose to either sink to their level or rise above it.

To stay positive, focus on the successes that have happened in the past. I have a “Happy Folder,” where I kept mementos of the good times. Also look at the successes today, you will have students who are serving in the church and you should feel proud that you were part of that reality.

If you are looking at ministry for the long-haul, than be diligent in your routines, remember the fundamentals, work on your weakness and always stay positive.

Spare Your Kids an Inappropriate Gift | Common Sense Media

5 suggestions: 

  1. Be Prepared
  2. Express Yourself
  3. Stay Positive
  4. Set Limits
  5. Don’t Panic

Staying positive is one that I struggle with when it comes to family gifts. Nothing worse than ruining a family holiday than saying something negative during unwrapping gifts.

Spare Your Kids an Inappropriate Gift | Common Sense Media