The Way You Say No Makes a Difference
Kids who understand that they can't always get their way have a much easier time in school. To help your child learn how to deal with disappointment, pay attention to how you say no. When you must say no to something your child wants:
- Pause before saying anything. Say, "Let me think about this for a minute." This will help your child understand that you have heard the request and are considering it.
- Think out loud. Children need to see how adults make decisions. "If I let you go to Maya's house to play now, we won't have time to eat dinner together."
- Acknowledge your child's feelings. Sometimes, just saying, "I know you're disappointed," can help.
- Give a "fantasy" OK. If your child wants an expensive toy and you can't afford it, say, "I wish I could get that for you. But it is not in our budget." This could even lead to a discussion of a plan to save money for the toy.
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