Saying “No” and communicating our boundaries is an inescapable part of life with children, yet also one of the most difficult aspects of being a parent. In order to keep the peace, you may find yourself saying “Yes” when you actually mean “No”. Or feeling like you have to shout and get angry in order to be heard. This rarely make us feel great.
The good news is: There is a middle ground. A way that allows you to be in charge, without compromising the connection between you and your child. Because children do want boundaries and want to feel safe in the company of parents who can communicate these clearly and respectfully.
Children are possibility seekers and like little scientists they will explore ways around a barrier with relentless perseverance. And that is exactly as it should be! Our job is to decide what is and is not acceptable and to communicate this clearly and respectfully.
Easier said than done, right?!
The way we go about saying “No” and setting limits will have a huge impact on how our children respond and on the actual outcome. Therefore, for us to be heard without having to take away TV for a week we need to be clear on what increases the willingness for our children to listen to us!
Once we master the art of saying “No” in ways that don’t make others feel ‘wrong’, it is possible for both you and your child to listen in a better way, to accept and to respect.