Asserting self, especially refusal is often a resisting feeling. Children are vulnerable to their surroundings and as they grow, they must learn to assert their refusal to something they don’t like or agree with. Here are some parenting ways to build the understanding of refusal in our kids.

When should one say a NO?

Our little ones may or may not be sure of when to refuse. There are various situations they witness on a daily basis that may be harming their outlook or self-esteem. As parents, it is important that we help our children understand what situations are unacceptable. Discussing subjects like bullying and sexual harassment empowers them to know when they must refuse.

Yes, refusing is ok

The best way for parents to help children in stating their dislike, whether in behaviour or otherwise, is by accepting their refusal. Of course, it doesn’t mean parents accept every argument discussed. However, when children are given the freedom to say a NO, it makes them confident. This freedom also inculcates conscience in their upbringing.

There could be more to the NO

Many times by resisting something, kids hint at something they may not be comfortable with in their life. According to National Centre for Educational Statistics 2016, 20.8% students report being bullied. If your child is being unusually quiet, ask them if they are going through something. Keep assuring them of your support and help them in standing against unfair treatment – with them or their friends.

Refusal or negotiation may not be easy, but with little help from parents, kids can surely learn to make the right choice and bloom.

The balancing act

As parents, we must maintain a fine balance between accepting and ignoring our children's NOs. Like, refusing to eat broccoli is not worth giving into; but not meeting friends, needs some interrogation. This balance can be achieved by showing interest in our children's dislikes. Let's find ways to learn what triggers these dismisses. This way, we too learn how to turn their refusals into possibilities.

Use positive words

To help children in refusing without feeling angered or submissive, parents must keep on using positive words. When parents show empathy, children feel safe in sharing what they feel – about anything. The tiny minds need constant reassurance that stating a dislike is necessary, but they must also learn that there are gentle ways to do so. Yes, we hear you; positive parenting is not an easy pathway!

Appreciate the sharing

Life skills education primarily focuses on a healthy bond between parents and children. One of the ways to build this is by encouraging kids to share what they are experiencing. When your children express refusal about anything, first of all, appreciate them for sharing it with you. This forms a foundation of trust in their subconscious; and helps them in being clear and open about what they dislike.

So parents, all set to teach how to say a NO?