The Word “NO” – Part 2 of 4

Kids often have difficulty with the word “no.”

As a parent, how can we effectively say “no” to our kids without feeling like we are giving in and most importantly maintaining the relationship with them? 

This week we will focus on “MAN.” 

M stands for Be Mindful of both the topic at hand (focusing on saying no) and how you are feeling. You may have to repeat what you want several times (“Broken Record”) in order to stick to your communication and be effective. In addition, ignore any threats, comments, or attempts to divert you. Example: “I understand that you want the video game, and at this time I can’t buy it for you.”  You can repeat this several times in a calm voice, if your child tries to divert you. (That is an example of how to use “Broken Record)

A stands for Appear Confident with your body language and tone of voice, even if you’re not feeling confident inside. This will help to make you more effective and hopefully more effective in getting your “no” to be heard.  Example: Use a confident voice tone, display a confident posture, and maintain appropriate eye contact.  Acting nervous may interfere with your effectiveness in getting your point of “no” across.

N stands for Negotiate. Maintain your “no” but offer to do something else or try to help solve the problem in a different way.  Alternatively, you can ask your child to help you to brainstorm alternative solutions to the problem. Examples: “What do you think we should do? I’m not able to say yes, and you really seem to want me to. What can we do here? How can we solve this problem?” or “I can’t say yes to you right now about the video game, what do you say that we plan another fun activity instead? What is something that you would like to do together?”


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By making this checklist freely available, we hope to make a positive difference in the lives of those facing mental health challenges. At YES, we understand the journey can be tough but rewarding. That's why we're here to support individuals and families and provide specialized training for mental health professionals, enhancing their ability to bring healing and hope to those in need.