Learn to say 'no' when you have to

saying no

All parents aim to fulfil the demands of their children at one call. Out of love and pampering, some parents end up giving in to almost all the desires of their children whether they are resonable or not.

Tantrums : Explain the child when he is calm.

However, agreeing to all demands of children might prove problematic for parents. No parent likes to see drooping faces and tears filled in the eyes of their children. According to doctors, it is important to say ‘no’ to children in order to develop their personality and discipline them.

Dr Sanjay Chugh, senior consultant psychiatrist says that just as children need encouragement when their behaviour is good, they need to be told ‘no’ as well when their actions and demands are undesirable.

“Parents must remember that they are not being “bad” parents if they say ‘no’ to the child. Childhood is the stage where most patterns get formed and thus, it is important that caution is exercised and while pampering children, we do not end up spoiling them,” he says.

According to Dr Samir Parikh, psychiatrist, Max Healthcare, if children grow up hearing ‘yes’ to all their demands, they might end up facing problems in socialising and making friends.

Ruma Sharma’s five-year-old son Reyansh throws himself on the floor and starts crying every time she says ‘no’ to any of his demands. “I find that I never have any strong reason to say no his simple demands like asking a new toy car or a pair of shoes every time we go to the market. I don’t know how to say no or whether I should get angry or deny him politely. In this confusion I end up giving in to his demands,” shares Ruma.

Saying ‘no’ to children can be tough and requires the right approach. The ‘no’ should always be followed by an explanation. “Parents must avoid beating around the bush and clearly use the word ‘no’.  And after denying once, they should not give in later on. After a while the child should be asked how he felt on hearing ‘no.’ Parents should also explain to children the reason behind not agreeing to their demand,” Samir says.

It is important not to indulge in much explanation behind the ‘no’ when the child is angry or throwing tantrums. The explanation should come when the child has calmed down.
“At that moment, the response should be short, clear and simple. The more we justify and explain, the more the chances of the child indulging in an argument. Once the situation has passed and the child has calmed down, then he should be told the reason. He should be given a patient hearing. Negotiating a deal that is mutually satisfying is also fine,” says Sanjay.

Parents are also afraid to say ‘no’ fearing a bad relationship with their children. For them, agreeing to their wards’ demands is a way to express their love. Samir says, “Saying ‘no’ definitely does not affect a parent-child relationship. Children learn with age that even their friends don’t agree with them always.”

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