How to Avoid Saying “NO!”

When the situation is one of a power struggle or with a defiant child, no is often an invitation to confrontation. Here are 16 ways of avoiding saying no.
1. State clear expectations. “You may … as soon as you have finished …”
2. Respond with a question. “What time is snack time, before or after your nap?”
3. State a given. “This is bath time.”
4. Do not defend or explain, simply continue
to restate the rule.
5. Offer limited choices where all answers are acceptable. ” You may change your shirt now or after breakfast.”
6. Check out child’s knowledge or understanding. “What needs to happen before we can have a snack?” or ask what they heard you say. What they heard may be completely different from what you said!
8. Invite cooperation. “I need your help. Can you figure out the most helpful thing to do right now?” If the child says “I don’t know.” the parent can respond with “Would you like help remembering.
9. Negotiate an agreement. “Would you like story before or after your bath?”
– Restate the agreement. “You would like your story before bath time?
– Follow through.
10. Say what you want. “I want you to have your bath now.”
11. Just say “Yes.”
12. Seek cooperation. . Instead of issuing commands such as “Get your room clean right now,” try “I have time to help you straighten your room now. Would you like to do it with me?”
13. Establish expectations. Use family meeting to to come to agreements in advance on family issues
14. Sometimes accept “No!” This makes hearing a “No!’ more acceptable.
15. Sometimes we have to say “No!” “No, you can’t run in the street/play with the stereo.”
16. “Yes, later.”

Have you came up with some of your own ways of avoiding “No!”

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