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Are You Afraid of Saying “No”?

One of the things that most surprised me when I moved to the States was how rarely I heard parents say “no.”

“No” is a powerful tool. It’s best paired with a concise, simple explanation: “No, you can’t touch the oven, it’s hot and it could burn you.” “No, you mustn’t hit your brother, because that hurts his body.” Doing this helps establish that your rules aren’t arbitrary.

“No” doesn’t have to be angry, and children shouldn’t automatically worry that they’re in trouble. Parents often display anger when they’re frustrated or frightened—much better to go to your child, get down on his level, touch him, and calmly but firmly deliver your message.

Wielding a firm “no” is especially important for those times when you can’t get to your child fast enough to prevent bad or dangerous behavior.

Here’s my top tips for using “no” effectively in my latest video.

Stay tuned for more on this topic…

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Possible topic for future blogs or youtubes. Being the father of four boys who I pray will grow to be great men, saying no isn’t that hard. The hard areas for men I believe are address to proverbs. One talks about not provoking your child to anger. The world will provide enough opportunities for that. And seconds covers raising your child in the way he or she should go. Guiding them through their paths in life. Not the path you want for them.

    April 29, 2013
    • Thanks for your comment Nick. Good topic ideas.. support your child on their path, not pave it for them. Something like that 🙂 I’ll look into it!

      April 29, 2013

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Speaking of Marriage

Winifred M. Reilly, M.A., MFT

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