Is telling your child “no” helping or harming their life?
In recent years, an increasingly popular belief has been circulating: that you should avoid telling your kids “no.” But wait…if I can’t say no to my kid, how do I redirect and protect them or teach them boundaries?
There are many psychologists that support this belief. They state that saying no to your child without any further explanation could lead to feelings of frustration, an overall negative outlook on life, and teaching them the word in the first place. Check out more about this specific idea here.
This is what we all know: your child is going to test boundaries and make mistakes. They are human! They look up to you for guidance, so it is up to you to provide them with a positive navigation system to use for the rest of their life.
Here is what I have found: Your words and language are going to impact your child emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Here are three swaps that you can make today to communicate positively with your child:
1. Instead of “No, don’t do that,” say, “My heart is feeling out of harmony with the choice you are making…”
There is no question that your child is going to test boundaries and make mistakes. That is simply part of life! Take a step back and examine the language that you are using with your child. Ask yourself:
- Do I speak to my child in a way that is for their highest and greatest good?
- Do I provide insight and understanding of the boundaries I create in their life?
- Am I communicating to them in a way that they can receive my heart and open theirs to find a common place to thrive together?
- Does telling them “no” help me do that?
Seemingly negative behaviors from your child do not need to be paired with negative language from you. You set the example. The next time you find yourself wanting to tell them “no” with zero reasoning or explanation, take a deep breath and put a positive and empathetic spin on it.
It is mature, constructive, and positive to tell your child how their words and actions make you feel. This will help to create the connection between that behavior and how it is not well received by others. It gives reasoning. This way, they can understand that choices have consequences and develop their own inner compass to guide them on their own navigation system. Using the old language with them as they grow won’t do that.
2. Instead of “No, you shouldn’t do that,” say, “We can make a more positive choice to benefit our lives…”
You see, a huge component of The Happy Life System is wiring (or rewiring, at times) our brain in positivity. A gigantic part of doing that is using the New Language of Heart Speak because it focuses on using words that come from a place of empowerment, abundance, freedom, and gratitude.
We discussed how reasoning is important in forming connections between behavior and consequence. Another great way to equip your child with the correct navigation system is by providing them with alternative choices.
The old language comes from a place of lack, control, limitation, and judgment. The word “no” used excessively and without explanation falls into the old language category. Though we are here to guide our children, we won’t always be there for them. Providing them with alternative choices helps jumpstart their problem-solving and positive decision-making skills.
Consider this: your children are arguing over their favorite toy and your oldest swipes it from your youngest. Instead of immediately turning to your oldest and saying no, use this as a teaching moment. You could say, “We can make a more positive choice to benefit our lives by asking if you could please have a turn playing with the toy.” This not only eases the situation but provides a more communicative and inclusive space.
3. Instead of “No, stop that,” say, “Let’s check in, what do you feel in your heart right now?”
Raising emotionally intelligent children is so, so important! Saying “no” without reasoning or expansion can teach children to hold in their emotions or indicate to them that their feelings are not as valid as yours. Although this is most likely not your intent if they were acting out because of some untapped need or emotion, this can be the way it is perceived.
Oftentimes when situations like these arise, it can be very emotional for all parties. Instead of teaching them to be blindly passive and positive, ask questions and acknowledge those emotions. Many of us can even do this to help us listen to our inner child!
- Teach your child about checking in with themselves.
- Assure them that they are not alone in general and in this journey specifically and that you have to check in with yourself as well.
- Ask them what is on their heart, and you may be able to get to the root cause of some of these behaviors!
You want to have them connect to the deeper meaning of why they shouldn’t be doing something. Using this language opens that within them as you help guide them.
For more on this and my entire Happy Life System, click here to check out all my courses! I am so excited to share it all with you!