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how to say no and mean it
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It just doesn’t make sense. You say, ‘No’, and your kids act like you just fired a starting pistol for an Olympic race to ‘YES!’. Why don’t they take no for an answer?

At Parenting Power, we have always said that kids are like little scientists, gathering all the data from their previous experiments and compiling the odds. For example, they be learning that ‘4 out of 5 times, we can get mom to move to a maybe and then a yes as long as we add tears and whining.’ Here are 3 tips for getting your ‘No’ to really stick.

How to Make Your ‘No’  Really Stick:

  1. Decide that you will only say ‘No’ when you mean it. This makes it easier for you to stick to your decision and your kids will learn that no means no. 

  2. If your ‘No’ is going to become a ‘Yes’ or has that possibility, start with a ‘maybe’, or even better, a ‘Yes, when…’. For example, Child: Mom, can I have a cookie? Mom: Yes, you can have a cookie when we are finished lunch. Do you want to choose that cookie now and set it aside for after lunch?

  3. Know how you will respond when your kids start the race to ‘yes’.
    a.    Acknowledge what they want and stay firm. Say: I know that you wanted to watch one more show. You really like that show. That’s all for tonight.
    b.    Accept that they are not pleased and that they may show it. Say: Seems like you need to get your sad out by crying. That’s okay. You can do it here or in your room. Let me know when you are done.

Many parents feel like they can make their kids happy by giving in. The truth is, ‘happy’ is an internal state. We can’t make our kids happy. When we say one thing and do another, we actually leave them confused and they will work harder, pushing and testing us next time to figure out if we are telling the truth this time.

The best way for us to teach our kids self-control, frustration tolerance and delayed-gratification (all indicators of a happy life as adults) is to say no and stick to it when we do.

Image of disobedient kids from Shutterstock.

Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit www.parentingpower.ca to ask your own parenting questions, and learn how to receive 20% off all services as a Parenting Power Member!
Comments | Tagged under kids, parenting, tips, behaviour
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How do I teach my child to choose healthy snacks?
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The data is out there: we need to cut back on the junk food. So how do we make that happen in our own homes? Here are five ways to make sure that your child develops healthy eating habits.

  1. Decide what foods you want fuelling your child’s body. Once you know, it is easier to decide what fits and what should be left out (at least most of the time).
  2. Now it is time to get your little one in on the action. Let’s imagine that you’ve decided that five servings of fruit and vegetables will make up a portion of your child’s diet. Create a chart on the fridge with five spaces so that your child can keep track when choosing a snack.
  3. With your youngster, brainstorm a list of snacks that include those fruits, veggies, healthy proteins or whatever else you’ve chosen.
  4. When your child is ready for a snack, have them choose from their list of healthy snacks that they helped to make. Look at the check list together to determine what they need for a healthy snack today.
  5. What about sweets? Decide when those should happen as well and add them to the chart. Once you have made the decision, it is easier for everyone to stick to it. An example might be: one sweet treat on Saturdays and Sundays, or one sweet item per day after lunch. Once you’ve made a decision, make sure everyone knows it and stick to your decision. When we say what we mean and follow through, our kids don’t have to test us over and over again. That’s easier for everyone!

When we involve our kids in the process of brainstorming healthy snacks, deciding what fuel our body needs and choosing within those parameters, we know that we are teaching them that they are capable of making healthy choices on their own.

Image of child with apple from Shutterstock.

Julie Freedman Smith and Gail Bell provide tools for real life parenting through their company, Parenting Power™. Using over 40 years of combined experience, they work with parents across the country through telephone coaching and teleconferences to ease the stress and guilt of parents while providing practical solutions to everyday parenting challenges. Visit www.parentingpower.ca to ask your own parenting questions, and learn how to receive 20% off all services as a Parenting Power Member!
Comments | Tagged under health, snacks, wellness
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