No Is Not A Bad Word
October 22, 2009 · Posted in Discipline, K-5 Kids, Parenting, Preschoolers, Toddlerhood · Permalink

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“NO” has gotten a bad rap! Some child rearing advice in the last twenty five years has given the idea that if you don’t use the word “no” with young child they in turn will not use it back to you in defiance.

We would like to officially debunk that myth. It is a misguided and false idea that comes out of a culture of overly permissive parenting.  We know how well that has worked.  Children will learn to say “no” regardless of whether they hear it from their parents – and they need to hear it from their parents.

Now, we are not advocating that your child’s world be overly encumbered with reprimands and prohibitions. Childhood should be a time of exploration and discovery and should have many “yeses” in it.  However, it is equally imperative that your child begin to learn about boundaries and limits.  In fact, it is an important hallmark in their own developing sense of self, ushering in the awareness that they have their own separate wishes, wants and opinions about things.

Behaviors including self-control, restraint and caution are learned by hearing the word, “no”.  Children learn how to tolerate frustration and regulate intense emotions by learning to accept “no”. When you see a child who is behaving in a disrespectful, whiny and demanding manner, there is a good chance that child is desperately in need of clear limits. Without your “no” your child is left to push until he finds these limits. Our advice? Do not hold back from thoughtfully and appropriately saying “No” to your children.

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Comments

  1. Nancy
    November 13th, 2009 | 11:51 am

    I was cautious with the number of ‘nos’ I gave my daughter when she was little. This approach didn’t mean that I never used it, just sparingly. And I must say she turned out pretty well. Of course children will learn to say no regardless of if they here it from you or not – they will also learn curse words whether you say them or not – but that doesn’t mean you need to over-emphasize such things in your daily language.

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