Every age and stage comes with its own set of joys and challenges. One of those challenges is dealing with a child who won’t take no for an answer.
We all want our children to be confident in their opinions and decisions, but we also need to teach them healthy boundaries and limitations. Establishing authority early on is key. Think of it this way… You respond, “no” to your child’s request. She hides, pouts, or yells to convince you to change your mind. You end up giving in… You’ve just taught her not to listen to you.
So if every answer seems to turn into a negotiation, don’t give up. There are some tactical ways you can create the boundaries now.
- When you explain your reason for saying no, be concise and to the point. A long, drawn out explanation is neither necessary nor productive.
- Explain the consequences for arguing in advance.
- If he begins to argue at an inopportune time, explain that there is a more appropriate time to disagree, and set a time to sit down and discuss.
- When a child disagrees with you appropriately, reward her behavior by actively listening to what she is telling you.
- Explain to your child that the more often he accepts “no” the right way, the higher the probability that the next response heard will be “yes.”
Written by author Julia Cook, a former teacher and school counselor, Julia has received the Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award. The National Parenting Center and Mom’s Choice Awards have honored her books.