No one likes to be told they can’t do something. But while we may not like it, accepting “no” for an answer is often necessary. For this reason, children should be taught to accept “no” as an answer rather than always trying to get their own way.
Why Accepting “No” as an Answer is Important
Hearing “no” can be especially frustrating for children because sometimes they feel like the answer is always no. Even though you know that’s not true, it can still feel that way to the child. It’s important to both openly recognize and affirm those feelings in children because it’s the reality of how they’re feeling. This does not mean, however, that you should change your answer or allow the child to engage in endless whining. You can acknowledge how they’re feeling while still firmly saying that the answer is “no.”
There are many reasons parents may have to say “no” to their children. It could be a matter of finances where they can’t afford to buy a treat or toy their child wants. It could also be a matter of safety if their child wants to do something the parents might consider dangerous or inappropriate for their age.
Learning to accept “no” as an answer isn’t always easy, but it’s a necessary skill that will stay with children and help them learn how to raise their own children someday.
Teaching Children to Accept “No”
When there are two parents involved in a child’s life, it is especially important for them to be on the same page concerning when an answer is “no.” Children can be very perceptive about picking up on such differences between the authority figures in their lives.
When one parent says “no,” the other parent should back it up so their children don’t have the opportunity to play one parent against the other to get their way. Another way to teach children to accept “no” is to ignore the bad behavior they exhibit when they don’t get their way. Refrain from giving in just to keep a child from embarrassing you in public or making a scene.