How To Tell Your Child “No” in a Loving Way

15/06/2016

Children are inquisitive, curious and funny and they have a knack for adventure.  As parents, many of us enjoy observing them and take pleasure and watching them learn and grow.  But what are we to do when they begin dabbling in something dangerous or doing something they shouldn’t be doing?  Naturally, we tell them “No,” but it can leave us feeling that slight pang of guilt in doing so.

Take my little sister’s child for example:  he is a year and a half old, and he is all cheekiness and smiles….UNTIL you tell him “no.”  It doesn’t matter what it is he is doing, if you tell him “No,” one of two things happens:

1)     he cries very loudly for a period of time (usually for 5-10 minutes);

2)     he gives you “the silent treatment” and doesn’t acknowledge your existence.

I have to say, I have never seen a toddler participate in passive-aggressiveness like this little guy, and though I find it amusing (and he does eventually get over it within 30 minutes or so), it got me to thinking how we can tell our children “No,” in a loving way.

2 Ways To Tell Your Child No in a Loving Way

1)     DON’T say no, say yes!

This particular example is only good for certain situations.  For example, when my daughter was little she sometimes wanted a cookie for breakfast.  Being a health-conscious mom, I never gave her cookies for breakfast, but I also never told her no.  I would instead say, “Sure sweety, you can have a cookie after you eat your lunch.”  She seemed pleased with this answer for the most part, until she realized later on that it meant she wasn’t going to get what she wanted immediately… But hey! It worked for a while.

The whole point of this tip is that children are often told “no” numerous times a day, and it feels good when mommy and daddy say “yes.”  Instead of saying “no” to what you don’t want, say “yes” to what you do want!

2)     Instead of saying “no,” tell them why something is unfavourable.

This worked really well in my family, and my little sister does this with her son.  Instead of saying “no” without explaining why, instead try saying something to the effect of, “That is hot,” or “That is dangerous.”  Children are very smart.  Even if they aren’t even a year old yet, they often understand the essence of what mommy or daddy is saying even if they can’t formulate the words themselves.

As parents, we don’t always have to tell our children “no.”  As they reach for that hot cup you can say to them, “be careful, that might hurt you” instead of blurting out that involuntary “no” or “stop!”  Naturally, if they are doing something dangerous that could result in a serious injury, a sudden and sharp “No” may be just the thing that stops them from imminent peril.

Little Human Scholars Kindergarten, Preschool, Playschool & Daycare in PJ

One of the things I absolutely love about Little Human Scholars Kindergarten in PJ is how they work with the children instead of against them.  While I was there, I learned a lot from the staff and teachers who still have a special place in my heart to this day.

Not only do they practice loving ways of saying “no” without saying this notorious N-word, but they do other things as well that really caught my attention.  For example, Little Human Scholars playschool has children aged 1 ½ – 3 ½ years old.  It is not uncommon for a classroom of “littles” to sometimes get a little noisy.  Instead of yelling at the children to sit down and be quiet as most schools do, the teachers engage the children first and use a sort of “Aikido” move to guide them to do what they want.  For instance, I have observed Teacher Pat, the Head of Education at Little Human Scholars, get all the children’s attention and engage them in a game of Simon Says.  This is great!  How does one get a room of toddlers to do what you want?  By playing a game with them!  She does this by first matching their energy level, and then toning down the mood until the children are calm.

“Simon says, everyone yell!!  Ahhhhh!!”

“Simon says, everyone touch their head and smile.”

“Simon says, everyone sit down.”

“Simon says, to be silent…shhhhhh.”

What a great way to get the kiddos to listen, simmer down and follow instructions without making them wrong for being little balls of energy!

In summary, Little Human Scholars Kindergarten, Preschool, Playschool and Daycare in PJ is a great private school with an International student body.  The classrooms are small which means your child receives more one-to-one attention than a classroom with many children, and the teachers are very playful, loving and nurturing.

If that isn’t enough, they offer full day daycare for children as young as two (2) months old from 7:30am to 7:00pm at night.  They also offer additional babysitting services that parents may need on those odd nights out (the service is called hourly drop-off).

If you are interesting in checking out the school, talking to a staff member, or in registering your child for a free week trial (applicable for preschool, kindergarten and playschool only), click here and fill out the form.  A representative will reply to you shortly.

Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy day!

Jana Moreno

Kindergarten Near Jaya OneBaby Programme at Little Human Scholars