I hear this all the time in my practice. ‘I don’t want my child to only hear no.’ And, I tell them their child doesn’t always have to hear no. But, they do need your guidance and assurance. I also hear, ‘I was always told no as a child and resented my parents for this.’ And, I tell them your child won’t grow up to resent you, in the long run they will respect you. I also hear, ‘I just can’t say no.” And, as I have said in the past start to practice saying no, and it will become easier. As your child gets older here are the benefits they will learn from their parents saying no to them:
  1. This is how your child will learn to say no. As a Marriage & Family Therapist, I cannot tell you enough, how much I hear this in my practice, ‘I just can’t say no or set boundaries for myself.’ I hear this from adults that I see all the time. I’ve also noticed that children that have been picked on at school, sometimes their parents have a hard time saying no or setting boundaries with them.
  2. This will help your child feel confident. I also hear this a lot, ‘my child doesn’t like to try new things they just aren’t very confident.’ I have found that parents really want what is best for their child and they think they are doing the right thing. Unfortunately, when children don’t hear no or have boundaries set for them by their parents, it can hurt their self-esteem in the future.
  3. This will help your child with the highs and lows of life. In reality, there is almost always a winner and always a loser. So, if you lose, do you throw up your hands and quit right away? Or, do you persevere? Think of the people that you admire most in life, are they people that persevere or are they people that quit? People learn to persevere when boundaries have been set for them as a child.
It is also important to be aware of your tone and body language when you say no. You don’t need to yell or glare at your child but you do need to say no with a firm tone and body language. And, of course, always catch them when they are being good and let them know how much you love them. If you still have a hard time saying no to your child, then give me a call for a consultation (650) 892-0357.

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