No parent or caregiver wants to hear themselves saying “NO!” every minute. And the heated word loses it’s power the more we use it. So what’s a grown up to do when trying to raise a kiddo in the safest, most positive way possible? Try out our favorite Alternatives To “NO!” and see which can be most effective for you!
1. Ask yourself, is this actually dangerous or just inconvenient? Sometimes our gut reaction is to say No to a child’s natural exploration. Mostly because their curiosity often leads to a huge mess. Instead of wasting a No on a silly situation, pick your battles. Is it really the end of the world if your kiddo takes out the tupperware from the drawer? If not, let them be. A small inconvenience isn’t worth a fight. But if you have company coming over and it is a definite No, save your words and distract your child instead. Move into a different room and take out a new thing for your kiddo to examine.
2. Play with your language! Saying, “Stop!” when a toddler is getting ready to touch the oven is more powerful than the hundredth No of the day. It’s an action that warns of danger ahead. Saying, “Not for Julie” when your little one keeps ouching your makeup bag makes it clear that this particular item is off limits to her. Saying, “We cannot play here if you bite” is a sure-fire way to get your point across. Vary your language and even your tone, and you’ll be more likely to get a positive outcome.
3. Offer a better solution. Simply stating, “No, we can’t stay at Oliver’s” is no doubt going to illicit a negative reaction from your little one. Lessen the impact by giving two options. We can hug Oliver bye bye now OR we can call him from the car to say goodbye. What do you think? Empowering our kids in even the smallest ways can help them make wiser decisions and keep the family peace!