The “no” stage is a really difficult phase for parent. Faced with the constant refusals of children, most of the time without valid and reasonable reasons, it is normal for them to lose patience and end up angry. However, the parents’ reaction to the continuous demands and negatives of children is key, not only to maintain a good family balance but also to underpin the self-assertion of the little ones. These are some tips so that you can deal with this stage without dying trying and even be able to promote the individuality of your children.
Allow Them To Express Their Anger, But In An Assertive Way
Behind the emphatic “no” of children, many times a contained anger hides because they do not know how to express their point of view or they simply feel misunderstood. Reprimanding or punishing them for their oppositional behavior will only accentuate that feeling. On the other hand, if you allow children to express that anger in an assertive way, you will be teaching them tools so that they learn to self-control and understand their emotions. A good way to do this is by asking why they refused, why they think it is the best answer, and how they feel about refusing.
Watch Your Use Of “No”
How many times a day do you say “no” to your children? Many times we do not even reflect on whether what children are asking is reasonable and we respond with a “no” as a reflex action. However, have you ever wondered how your “no” influence the little ones at home? In many cases they only make children feel relegated to the background and minimized, to the point of believing that their opinion or feelings count for nothing. Obviously, this will accentuate the infantile “no” phase. To avoid this, think about each answer you give your children and say “no” only when it is really necessary.
Respect The “No” Of Children
Frustrated by their children’s continued refusals, parents sometimes do not take “no” for an answer and force children to act against their will. It is true that sometimes the “no” of the little ones have no place and it is important to make them reflect on their refusal, but to ignore their “no” and force them to do something that they have made clear that they do not want to do is not exactly the best road. If you want your children to ponder their answers and be aware that their negatives sometimes make no sense, the first thing you have to do is respect their “no”.
Reinforce Their “Yes”
If you want your children to stop responding with negatives, try positive reinforcement . Basically, all you have to do is focus your attention on your children’s yeses and reinforce them. For example, when he says “yes” you can say: “I’m very glad you said yes” or “You don’t know how happy it makes me that you said yes.” Whether it’s a verbal or gestural reinforcement, such as a kiss, a hug, or just a smile, reward every “yes” from your child. In this way, you will learn to substitute “no” for “yes”.
Teach Them To Respond Appropriately
In the “no” stage, children can be very categorical or even rude. One way for them to reflect on their responses and learn to soften the tone is to teach them other ways to respond. For example, when they say “no” you can ask them: Couldn’t it be a maybe? Is it a resounding “no” or do I have any hope? Taking into account that at these ages children have a fairly small vocabulary, you can also bet on vocabulary games in which they learn new words, such as “may”, “maybe”, “maybe” or “maybe”. And, of course, educate by example. When you have to say “no”, other than just, say, for example: “I’m sorry, but you can’t”, “no, thanks” or “I don’t think so, but I’ll think about it.”
And above all, keep calm. Keep in mind that your children do not act like this in bad faith or to make you angry. So before you lose your temper, take a deep breath and count to ten. Remember that, sooner or later, this stage will pass and your little one will become a much more independent and mature child.