This isn't covered in parenting books. Moms don't talk about it at play dates.
You need to teach your child to say no.
No, they don't want to sign up for yet another after school activity.
No they don't want to go to a friend's house after school.
No they don't want to drink/do drugs/hang out at the playground at night.
It all starts when they are young.
You have to give them the power to make their own decisions, and then trust that they are right. You are not living in their body. They are. When they say no, respect the fact that it means no.
No, they don't want to put on a coat just because you're cold.
No, they don't want to share their favorite toy.
Bo, they don't want broccoli for lunch.
You can't expect them to have the NO skill when they are teens if you've never given them the space to practice it before they ARE teens.
Yes, you are setting yourself up for some battles. But choose your battles wisely. Override their no only when it really matters. Use it to teach them they don't always get their way - a good thing to know. But they can't always NOT get their way. Save your overriding no for the really important things.
No, you can't run out into the street.
No, you can't stay up until midnight on a school night.
No, you can't go hang with the kids at the playground. At midnight on a school night. In the street.
Saving your no for when it matters gives it more importance. Letting them say no when they want to gives them self esteem, decision making skills, and they ability to listen to their own intuition.
What type of child do you want to raise - one that thinks their say in the matter counts for nothing, or one that knows their own mind, and knows how to make their own decisions. There is no magic switch that flips this skill on when they turn 14.
It's up to you to give them space to try out their NO skills now, in a safe environment, instead of out in the real world. Doesn't matter if they are 3 or 13, respect their no.
And that NO skill will come in handy once they are adults and volunteering for every committee.......... How To Say No
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