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“Is It Really OK To Say ‘No’ To My Child?”

In the mid 1960’s a few parenting “experts” began to question whether we ought to say this word to our children.

Some worried that it would damage kids’ self-concepts. Others seemed concerned that it would stifle creativity.

Kids need to hear “No” from time to time.

Listed below are some practical guidelines:
•  Say “No” only when you can back it up with meaningful actions.
•  When we say “no” without holding our children accountable, we teach them that “no” really means “yes.”
•  Say “No” only when you can do so without anger and frustration.
•  Kids love to challenge us just to see our face turn red!
•  Say “No” only when it doesn’t rob your child of a good learning experience.
•  If a child is about to do something that’s not dangerous…but will backfire for them…it’s often wiser to allow them to learn from their mistake instead of saying “No.”

“No” is a critically important parenting tool that wears out if it’s used too often. Save it for times it’s really needed.


Dr. Charles Fay
©2009 Jim Fay, Charles Fay, Ph.d.& Love and Logic® Institute

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Head & Heart Parents is owned by Kerry Stutzman, MSW, a Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Love and Logic Parenting Instructor. In addition to private therapy and parent consulting services, Kerry offers parenting classes and workshops in Denver and the surrounding areas for toddlers, elementary, and teenage children.

As author of the easy-to-read “Save Your Sanity” series, Kerry helps parents save their sanity and sense of humor while raising young children with love and laughter.

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