Do you find yourself saying “No” to your child all the time? Overtime, this only makes your child more un-cooperative. Using a strong and affirmative “No!” should be reserved for emergencies.
In other cases, you could use the 7 following alternatives:
- Positive requests: Instead of telling your child, “No, don’t let go of my hand in the mall”, rephrase it and say, “Hold on to my hand as you may get lost in this crowd.” Children tend to respond to reason a lot better than a loud “No”.
- Tell your child exactly what you expect of him or her: Instead of saying no, it is better that you tell your child what behavior you want them to stop. For instance, “Get off that stool now” or “Stop pushing her”
- Tell your child what he or she can do instead of what he or she cannot do: For instance if your child asks for a cookie before dinner, tell your child, “You can have it after dinner”. If you see your child throwing a ball indoors, you can say, “You can either play with the ball outside or I will have to put it away.”
- Redirect your child’s attention: When your child is just about to do something you do not want him to, make way for a distraction. Find something that may interest your child more and ask them if they want to do that instead.
- Use warning sounds: Just when your child is about to do something you do not want them to, use a warning sound such as “Tch! Tch!” or “Ah! Ah!” It tells them immediately that a certain action is completely out of bounds and unacceptable.
- Ask them what the rules are: If you catch your child emptying a box of toys onto the floor, for instance. Just go up to him and ask him, “Where are the toys supposed to go after playing?” Make sure you get the answer that you want.
- Use key phrases: Simple key phrases that work as instructions can be a great alternative to No. For instance, “That is dangerous”, “You are hurting her” “You will hurt yourself” make sense to your child to and give him or her reason to behave the way you want him or her to.
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