PARENTING CONNECTION: Don’t Overuse the Word ‘No’

Parenting Connection


It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Don’t overuse the word “no”

It’s easily a word that ranks in the top 5 when speaking to your children. Child experts say, it’s important to use, but when used too often, it loses its meaning.

Child experts say, avoid leading with no and try to say what you want them to do instead. It’s hard at first, but doing this will help guide your kids to better decision making, help them understand the difference between right and wrong ans it retains the value of what NO should stand for.

Experts say, when no is used in select circumstances, then it’s going to get the child’s attention, but if you are constantly using no in just an everyday setting, it’s going to lose its meaning and just be a negative tone for the child.

“One of the things we want to remember is we are really trying to help kids understand the consequences of their behavior,” says MSU child expert Kendra Moyses. “It’s important that we give them more than just a no and talk to them about why they can’t touch something or why they can’t do something and reframe your reaction to what you want them to do.”

There are two ways to tackle this tough task. The first is replacing the motivation you want to stop, with another. Here’s an example: If your child is climbing on the dishwasher, then you can say, feet on the ground, rather than don’t climb.

The second way to remove starting with no — is understanding your child’s desire, and then positively re-direct it. For example: Validate their need to want to climb, and then you give the child something else to do.

Ultimately — you’re working to save the word NO for scary, dangerous, or emergency situations.

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