Wednesday Wisdom: How to Say No and Really Mean It

January 24, 2008 at 10:37 am | Posted in children, dads, Families, moms, Mothers, parents, Self Esteem, teens, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | 2 Comments
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As a parent there is often the need to say no for an emergency.  And that comes easily enough.  But what about those regular times when you want to say no and your children just keep bugging you.  Either they just keep pleading and whining.  Or they look at you with such cute faces you feel you just have to give in.  Or they bug you so you feel the only way to say no is to yell and scream.  Only you really don’t want to give in and you don’t want to scream.  What can you do?

The first thing to remember is that you are the parent. Not just physically, but mentally as well.  This means you can expect your children to respect you.  This puts you in the attitude of having your children understand you are in charge.  It is both a simple idea and a profound concept. 

After you have adjusted your attitude to be the person in charge you can follow through with the simple “no.” A simple no is said with conviction.  It is used justly and respectfully of your children.  The idea of gaining respect from your children is as important as giving respect to them.

When your children look at you with those faces that just melt you, stay in charge.  Tell them they are so cute, but unfortunately the cute faces will not change your mind.  When they come to with a barrage of reasons they think you should change your mind respond with, ”I know you don’t understand, but the answer is still no.”  You need to keep your voice calm and even. 

When your children are bugging you to the point of exploding, first step away from them.  Collect yourself.  Take some deep yoga breaths.  When you are a calm enough go back to your kids.  Tell them, “The answer is no.  I have stopped yelling at you.  I realize that you will expect me to yell.  But I am trying my best to stop yelling at you.  I now expect you to respect this change in me and respect that the answer is no.”

With all three of these ideas you will be regaining your own self respect and through living you will teach your children how to expect respect from others and how to have self respect. 

Respect is one of the corner stones for a good foundation of high self-esteem.  When you give and take respect through the use of saying no and meaning it- without yelling at your kids– you establish an ability for your family to understand and accept the natural limitations of life without actually being limited by them.

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  1. Learn to smile gently when saying no. No is a form of love! When you communicate this, you give a huge wisdom to children.

    Loving Awareness: A Journey to Wholeness

  2. Matt–Very true. We should remember to reinforce self esteem and positive strength in all we do as parents. Thank you for commenting!

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