As a preschool teacher and a Baby Bonding Specialist, one thing which I have observed many times is the look on the face of a child when someone tells them ‘No’. The wrath on their face when they do not get what they want or what they want to do is not a very pleasant thing to see. Especially for parents, it is one of the toughest things to endure.
Sometimes, parents may tend to have a picture of a ‘perfect model child’ in their mind. However, this turns into the complete opposite – the reality, where even saying a simple ‘No’ can completely turn a great day into a nightmare. Even parents do not like using the word ‘No’, but when it is the question of your child’s safety and wellbeing, is there any other alternative left? Could there be a better and more constructive way to tell them ‘no’?
How does saying NO effect your child?
Well to know that first we need to understand the reasons why ‘parenting without no’ is more advocated:
Saying ‘no’ creates negativity in the mind of children and often makes them feel ‘challenged’. For children, many times their demands are irresistible and when said no, it seems impossible to them.
Many times ‘no’ is used as a quick response and a quick reaction to any demand of the child. You may not even realise it as a parent, that you have used the word so many times. This overtime use of the word ‘no’ without explanations or sometimes even without listening to the child’s demand/feelings, leave him/her frustrated, irritated and angry.
When the language of ‘no’ is used more often, after a point of time, the child might revert with opposite behaviour ie, ‘no’ will not have any impact on the child at all.
Hence arises the need to try ‘parenting without no’. Children sometimes indulge in such activities that it becomes impossible to not say no. Also, many a time, their demands are not acceptable or reasonable. But, there are alternatives to saying ‘no’ which are as useful. The trick is in the hand of the parent to say ‘no’ without actually saying ‘no’.
A child’s new healthy chocolate alternative
How to be a #YesMom in a constructive way
We asked a few mums about the alternatives they find are good to use instead of the word ‘no’ and here are some interesting snippets, take a look:
1. Give an alternative
Mumbai based, Dipali Ved, a mother of two boys aged 5.5 and 8, gives a couple of alternatives. “Since the word ‘No is many times a quick reactive word, I will try not to use it as that. I often use ‘Let me think about it’. This helps me to see things from the child’s point of view rather than a quick reaction.”
The same way, US-based mother of a 7-year old, Neetu Nivedita Banala, pitches in, “Instead of saying “No”, give them an alternative. I usually say, “that’s not very healthy, how about we try this”. This usually works for me.” She adds on with an example, “If she wants to play out in the snow, I will tell her she can play but if she gets sick she will miss all the fun stuff at school and instead we could paint or build with LEGO.”
As a mother, you would have noticed that most of the times you would land up saying No is to chocolates and unhealthy food options, but if we replace it with a healthier alternative, such as the ActivKids Immuno Boosters – it does help to reduce the stress and guilt levels in a mum for always saying no to her child.
ActivKids Immuno Boosters is a newly launched product by Cipla. These tiny choco-bites are packed with upto 100% RDA of key immunity nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B9 and Iron. These have been exclusively created by the scientists at Cipla based on ICMR and WHO guidelines for nutritional needs of children. This cute container comes with 30 choco bites and is meant for the age group of 4 to 6 years of age and 7 years plus.
Healthy doses of immunity through chocolate bars
The product helps in building immunity thus protecting their health. It’s one of the main reasons why mums keep saying NO, as they’re perpetually concerned about the child’s health. So when the solution is available in fun, bite-size chocolates, it’s a win-win situation for both the parent and the child.
Most importantly, it’s amazing to see how the little dottie comes home from school asking for one dose of the chocolate as a treat. And come a change of weather or seasons, our little superhero is ready to take on any mischief thanks to the Immuno Boosters keeping her healthy, fit and not to mention, naughty!
2. Take a Pause & explain
Dipali continues, “PAUSE– often saying nothing and allowing the child to speak about what they need takes care of what the child really needed – the parent’s complete attention!”
Instead of using the word ‘no’ we can use other magical language skills. A great alternative is , for example, when a child is trying to pat a stray dog/cat, the instant reaction of the parent will be a big ‘NOO’. Instead of that, what the parent can do is give an explanation like ‘patting stray dogs/cat can cause sickness and germs’. At times, the word ‘no’ is quick, soon after saying it you may realise; in that case, the explanation follows after the ‘no’.
3. Change your perspective & demonstrate
“As Riya came into my arms, immediately by that time, I started feeling and watching things through her eyes i.e. from her point of view. During her crawling and walking stage, I started demonstrations and showed her the things thoroughly which she wanted to have in her own hands. I made her aware of the consequences and effects of those things. For example – if she will close the door then her hand can get injured so ‘open it like this’. I never saiddon’t open it, I used to say ‘open it like this or we can open it in this way also,” explains Pune based,Ankita Sharma, mother of 4-year-old Riya.
4. Give space
Ankita offers another solution with her example, saying, “I always gave her complete space…complete freedom to touch anything at home apart from harmful things. We had even removed all the showpieces and sharp objects from approachable places. Recently on her fourth birthday in November, we organised our TV cabinet with those showpieces and asked Riya to touch and check everything so that she can now satisfy herself and her curiosity.” This is a great alternative where you allow the child to complete their demand but at the correct time and with the best possible solution.
Chocolates packed with Immunity Boosters
5. Be gentle
‘No’ is not really negative. This is well explained by Dipali who adds on, “No is not a negative response in itself. The manner in which it is said is. More often than not, a parent’s ‘No’ is said in a harsh manner for it to have an impact. That harsh tone brings in itself some shaming for the child. Hence as long as no can be said in a gentle manner only to bring in a limit without any blame or shame, it’s actually extremely healthy for a child.”
This is where the understanding of the parent comes in. It is actually not required to completely discontinue the ‘no language’ and always advocate a ‘yes’. What is important is to strike a balance between the two. Too many ‘no’s’ or too many ‘yes’s’ – both are equally harmful to a child’s inner self. If you rarely use “no” for your child, the few times that you do your child will break because now he’s not used to hearing no and getting frustrated. On the other hand, if the child’s whole day is full of “no’s,” the child start believing and learning only negativity. Sometimes, children also start comparing between both the parents-seeing who is a ‘yes parent’ and who is a ‘no parent.’
Therefore, what is crucial here is to maintain a balance between the two, pause before reacting, give reasonable reasons and/or alternatives and a lot of space to your child, with a prime focus on the health and well being of our little ones.
Hence, if you look for healthier alternatives, it does help to mask a ‘No’ into something more positive. We understand how mums keep stressing over a child’s health and immunity, especially during the change of seasons, and trying to strike a balance between health and fitness. So if we find a product that fits into a mother’s scheme of things, like the ActiveKids Immuno Boosters, then it most certainly takes off a lot of load from a worrying parent.
Don’t stress yourself too much. We just hope that our simple tips on parenting can help you take up the #YesMom challenge on a more positive note and watch a whole new dimension open up with you and your child!
Contributor: Bhumika Vikam, Staff Writer
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