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    3. I find it very difficult to say 'NO' to my child. Is it good to always give whatever my child asks for?


    I find it very difficult to say 'NO' to my child. Is it good to always give whatever my child asks for?

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle

    Dear Parent,

    Saying No to your child for certain things is your way of keeping her physically and emotionally safe. Although she may resent a No from you, it reassures her that you will protect her from going beyond safe boundaries. She learns to build her trust in you. She feels safe knowing she can share her experiences, thoughts, and ideas with you without being judged or put down. She knows she can come to you if she makes a mistake, fails, or even does something wrong. You will be there to guide and support her through all her ups and downs.

    Just like a two-year-old feels more secure when you allow her to play in a fenced, safe area rather than in an open neighborhood, so also your child will feel safe only if you set limits and draw boundaries for behavior. So, this means saying NO to things she cannot do, or cannot have. If you never say NO, your child will start to control you. She will not learn patience or know how to handle disappointment. She will always feel entitled. She will always expect to get her way even with others.

    Think about why you may hesitate to say NO:

    • you don't like to see your child cry
    • You don’t want your child to not like you
    • You want to give your child what you never had as a child
    • you want to see your child happy

    But, instead of simply saying No to everything – here are a few pointers to help you say No while still showing your child that you love and care for her.

    • Choose your battles. Decide on what you must say NO to, and when it is okay to let your child have his way. For example, you may allow your child to eat one chocolate after dinner, but you may say NO to eating more than one.
    • Every time you want to say NO, say YES to what your child can do instead. For example, “No,  you cannot watch TV after dinner, but yes, we can read a book together.”

    For more tips on saying NO without the stress, read these articles:

    No, You Can't Have Ice-Cream for Dinner! How to say No to Your Preschooler

    Saying NO to your child: How to do it

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