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.






All-Knowing Role Of Parenting

Parents have a lot of roles. We are cooks, barbers, gardeners, negotiators, fixer-ups and many more. But one role that can be tiresome is being the all-knowing. Kids are question magnets. I have never taught my children, the word “Why?”, but they sure picked it up somewhere.

This role is something that can be exhausting, just by the sheer amount of questions in a given day. Do we know every answer for every question? No, but our kids sure think we do. Kids won’t ask logical questions all the time either, sometimes they are completely insane. How do you an answer the questions that you can’t answer?

Here are some of my tips for the slew of questions.

First, make sure you are open to hear them. Part of the questions is the openness of your time for them. Just writing this blog, I was asked a few questions. It took me a few seconds, to look at them and answer. It’s not a time consuming process.

Second, make sure you are honest with them. You won’t know every answer to every question, but being honest about your unknowns won’t make them stop asking you questions. Trust me, there are plenty of questions that I said, “I don’t know,” and it has never stopped them for asking me more questions.

Finally, as they get older encourage them to find the answers to their own questions. Some questions are easy to answer like, “Where are my shoes/socks/toothbrush?” But some questions go a little deeper. Helping them discover the answers themselves will help them develop necessary habits for later in their life.

For all my all-knowing parents, always listen, be honest and help them discover all the answers in life. What you do know, will make your children stronger as they grow older. Good luck.