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  • Fariah Siham

Golden Tip: How To Say No To Your Child

No. That is what we are exploring today. The art of saying no to your child. At times, it may be challenging to say no to your child. Especially when they pull out their “act cute” card or their “pity me” card and when that happens, the parent guilt kicks in. Saying No at these junctures can be ridiculously challenging. At other times, you can easily throw out the word without any hesitation. “Ma/ Pa, can I go to the playground later?” and you go No because you are exhausted as it is. Whatever the situation may be, there are benefits in saying No.


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Benefits Of Saying No To Your Child


Saying no to your child will allow you as a parent to build a sense of autonomy and attain an authoritative figure in your child’s eyes. They are able to build self-worth and self-respect. It will also allow children to develop patience, positive attitudes, and culture positive behaviour.


When To Say No To Your Child


When Your Child Is Hurting Someone


Sometimes, children may not necessarily understand the concept of pain. To them, it could be a slight touch or a sign of affection. But in reality, they are hurting someone. It is applicable to animals as well. At this juncture, it is good for you to say a determined No. explain to them that they are hurting someone else. Try incorporating compassion when you speak. An example could be, “ouch that must hurt your friend, what if your friend gets upset with you or gets hurt?”


When Your Child Is Being Disrespectful


As an older sister, I found it extremely disrespectful when my sister went to destroy my personal belongings. The dolls which belonged to me were destroyed because she was upset at me for something. If something like this sounds familiar to you, please say No. Explain to your child that personal items need to be respected. Possibly try having your child put themselves in the shoes of others.


When Your Child Is Misbehaving In Public


There are social norms we need to abide by when we are visiting common places like malls, airplanes, restaurants, and so on. Imagine after covid-19 ends, you begin to travel and the child goes kicking the seats in front of them, which are your seats. It is possible that your child is overly excited or finds it suffocating to be stuck in one seat. Your child could be that child if you do not correct misbehaviour regularly. Be gentle and patient with your child when correcting behaviour.


Alternatives To Say No To Your Child

Rephrase Your Sentences


Sometimes, saying No can be threatening to parents. How about rephrasing your sentences next time? Give them a valid reason as to why you are saying No. Avoid yelling or using negative language. Speak to your child. Ask them why they are behaving that way. If it is dangerous, bring them away from there and let them know that you want them to be safe. It is easy to lose your calm when your child is in danger. Move both yourself and your child away from the situation and communicate.


Distract Your Child


In situations like misbehaviour in public, the best way to get them to behave right away would be to distract them. Saying No when they are already upset or annoyed will only worsen the situation. Possibly try asking your child to check out something somewhere or give them something of their interest. This may work better with toddlers since it is easier to grab their attention. A simple set of keys may bring their attention away from something else. Bring around healthy snacks with you when you head out. Use snacks as a distraction. Puffed snacks, dried fruits, and yogurt drops are some snacks you may consider.


Telling people No is part and parcel of life. But when saying to your child, it holds a heavyweight. Saying no to your child is likely to help your child shape their behaviour and grow into exemplary young adults.


Enrol your child in Genesis Childcare 1989


If you’re looking for infant care in Tampines or anywhere in the east of Singapore, our staff at Nurture Infant House has more than their share of willies in being the entertainers and caretakers for little bundles of joy.


With over 30 years of specialised experience, we have nurtured thousands of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers alike.


For toddlers and older children looking for a preschool, you can also take a look at Genesis Childcare 1989, our playgroup and kindergarten, also located nearby in the east of Tampines.



Feel free to book an appointment through WhatsApp, or visit us at the following venues:


Genesis Childcare 1989 (Tampines)


Blk 433, Tampines Street 43, #01-63 (S) 520433

Tel: +65 9666 4141


Genesis Childcare 1989 (Taman Jurong)


Blk 153, Yung Ho Road, #01-41 (S) 610153

Tel: +65 9666 4141


Nurture Infant House (Tampines)

(2 to 18 months Infants)


Blk 433, Tampines Street 43, #01-61 (S) 520433

Tel: +65 9666 4141


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