The Habit of Saying ‘NO’!!! – What do Children learn from it???
Our enthusiastic core team member shares her views on one of the most issue parents face is ‘ The Habit of Saying ‘NO’
We see children play every day around us. They try to do different things each day. Sometimes they try to paint the walls with crayons, they snatch things from others, they even throw away toys and things in the house and sometimes their food becomes their toy on the dining table.
They scream, they shout, they push, they yell, they cry, they do many things each day that we adults do not want them to do at all.
As parents and caring adults, we always want to safeguard them from danger.
A small child, who enters the kitchen to play, doesn’t know that the fire on the burning gas is harmful; or the knife can cut his finger.
A child only knows to explore the new world around him. It is the job of the parents and the adults around the child to tell him what to do and what not to do.
Sadly, this is what we usually do:
a. “Don’t go in the kitchen, you will hurt yourself…”
b. “No! Do not colour the walls, it becomes dirty…”
c. “Don’t play with the food…”
d. “Not now. Do it later.”
e. “No! Don’t go there…”
We bombard our children with the word ‘No’ so many times in a day that we don’t even realize it. A ‘NO’ to everything you want and like to do would be really frustrating and irritating, its really important to get rid of The Habit of saying No.
Put ourselves in their shoes:
Imagine your spouse or your boss at your office or your parent kept telling you ‘NO’ or ‘Don’t’ or ‘Not now’ for everything you tried to do all the time.
For example: “Don’t come to the office”, what do you do then? Do you go somewhere else? Consider it as a holiday? You choose to stay at home? Or you still go to the office because you don’t know what else to do?
Children learn by imitation. They copy what their parents, teachers do
When you keep saying NO to your child all the time, your child too learns to say NO to you. Many parents are concerned that their child doesn’t listen to what they say
Sometimes teachers too find it difficult to handle children who constantly say NO to do anything they are asked to do
Teachers may name them as fussy children although the parents often don’t realize that it is in the parents and teachers hands to teach the child to say YES to what he needs to
So, does that mean you should not say ‘NO’ to the child??? What if the child is hitting someone?? What if the child is about to break something in the house while playing?? Shouldn’t you tell the child to stop?? Shouldn’t you tell the child to stop doing certain things?? You must right. It’s obvious. If we don’t say ‘NO’ to a child, he / she will never understand what to do and what not to do. So now how do we deal with this problem? How do we ask the child to stop in a way that the child understands and follows what we say?
The art of saying a ‘NO’:
a. The best way to stop a child from doing something is to tell the child what we want him to do rather than what he should not do
b. A ‘NO’ must always be followed by a ‘Yes’. After every sentence about what not to do, immediately say what the child should do
c. E.g. instead of saying “Don’t throw the food” we can say “let us use the spoon to keep the food in our small tiny mouth and chew it”
d. Children often need repetition to understand and follow what we want them to follow
e. So if your child doesn’t do what you want him to do the first time when you tell him, don’t be surprised
f. Make it a habit to avoid using words like ‘NO’, ‘Don’t’, ‘STOP’, etc. and replace them with ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Welcome’ at appropriate times
g. This way the child will slowly pick up what is more appropriate and relevant to him
h. It is important to have patience as different children have different speed for learning
So now turn The Habit of saying a NO into the YES and see the magic on your child!!!
You can also read: