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We often face the situation of having to deny something to a young child. Saying "No" is a unique art in itself! Learn more about this art with this special parenting forum thread. (This thread wins the TOW award for the week 20th No'16-26th Nov'16)
  • Category: Miscellaneous

    The classic art of teaching No to children

    Finding it difficult to refuse something to a child? Get useful tips via this interesting forum discussion.

    Yesterday I went to the supermarket. While waiting to pay the bill I saw a child about 5 years old creating a scene. It was obvious that the child was crying for something which his parents were not ready to buy for him.

    I am surprised to see scenes like this in many places. In toy shops , stationery stores , ice-cream parlors and sometimes even in bus-stops. I wonder what went wrong with our society. Why do children make a big fuss when we refuse to buy something for them or when we do not accept their request? It will be better if teach them the meaning of the word NO at a very early age. Every parent is doing their best to provide their children with all things they need. But children do not understand this. They demand more than what they need. If we start giving them all that they want just to satisfy them then we are only spoiling the child. The child should be able to understand that his parents are doing their best for him. We should teach children to buy only things which are needed and not get into the habit of buying things unnecessarily. Once in a while children can be allowed to have whatever they want like asking something as a gift for their birthday or on other special occasions. But whatever it may be we have to teach the children the value of money so that they do not waste it.

    So let us start it by teaching the children to accept the word NO from an early age.
  • #584447
    An excellent thread from Ms. Devnath. Indeed it is necessary for guardians like us to teach ourseves to say 'No' to resist the tantrums of our chilren Otherwise, our children's future would be very bleak.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #584452
    A relevant thread, even though the topic was discussed in some earlier contexts also.

    The strange truth is that most of us do not know to say a firm 'No' when it is warranted and also not comfortable when we hear a 'No' against our expectations. Children should be taught to accept a 'No'. That will happen only when they are taught that the world is very large, we matter a miniscule only in this great universe. Children have to be taught(by exemplary behaviour) that we cannot expect that things will always go as per our expectation and desire and direction. They should be taught that 'No' doesn't always mean 'never' or 'not at all' , but it can also open alternatives.

    It cannot be taught in one day. It has to be emphasised and reinforced over a course of period and events.

    I had to read the book 'Don't say YES when you want to say NO". to come out from my weakness of not able to say a 'No' firmly. Similarly as parents we should learn to say No to our children if we are sure that the right answer at that point of time is a NO.

  • #584461
    An excellent subject raised by the author which is very relevant for those parents who are in the process of nurturing their child at this juncture. For that matter my wife and myself nurtured our two children in such a way that they wont demand anything to be purchased from the shops nor they ask for anything to eat when we take them to our friends or relatives house. We know the taste and requirement of our children and cater them before they ask for it. The modern parents fail to mingle with the child and if they ask something, they immediately oblige and wants the child to keep quiet. So the child takes the lenience of asking for anything at any place no matter we have the money or not. That kind of pampering is very dangerous and it must be avoided and cut. Say politely to the child that he would get better than asked for and thus divert the mind.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #584474
    It really depends on the age of the child in my opinion.If the child does not understand the real meaning of a 'No' due to his or her insufficient understanding , the obvious reaction is to struggle to achieve the thing being denied.
    Usually, parents commit the mistake of starting their sentence with a 'No',for example,"No, don't climb the stairs","No, dont eat so much chocolate".
    The habit of hearing this no time and again makes it quite meaningless in essential situations.
    Instead, if we sit down peacefully and lovingly explain the child about how it can cause them harm or even prolong and divert the child's attention, such power struggle s can be easily avoided in public.
    Children have a knack of finding out that their parents give up n to their demands if they scream and shout.
    One must ignore such attention crying from the first day itself to avoid any future behaviour problem in the child.

    "If things go wrong, don’t go with them"

  • #584477
    I agree with the author that the children must be taught the relevance of No and the circumstances when such word would be applicable. Our constant preachings and explanations why No is justified in a particular situation has to be explained and if the situation warrants the explanations must be supported by some examples to justify such decision. The sentence must not be started with No, rather the explanation should be the top most agenda before saying No. The kids are sensible enough to appreciate the sentiments of parents and later they would appreciate the significance of the word No.

  • #584478
    Though the content is excellent but it has some practical difficulties too and even that is described in the response above(#584474).

    Some times this 'No' itself will make the child adamant and stick to what they needed and even seek some alternative or short cut to turn the No to Yes.

    The situation not only in outside the home, even within home, there are some times some parents during the examination time or during important time, wanted to disconnect the television satellite, children would seek attention of going to friends house or neighbours house and the real purpose is defeated.

    So as author itself told that it is not only based on individual but collectively as society and hence there should be vast change in society itself should rethink on the needs of the generation.

    Nice to be in ISC and feel the difference.

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