It’s something some of us parents are all too familiar with. Whether it’s temper tantrums in the supermarket or the incessant nagging and pleading for another sugary treat – sometimes (or quite often) we actually just need to say no.
With temper tantrums looming across the globe, haven spoke to the experts to find out more about how often we really should say no.
Benchmark Psychology clinical psychologist Dr Grace Lynam says realistically parents should say no every single day, as they will no doubt face an event where their child is breaking a house rules or asking for the impossible.
“It is healthy for parents to say ‘no’ to their children when they are setting clear expectations for their child’s behaviour, giving an honest answer to a question, setting limits, or simply being assertive,” Grace says. “As parents it’s our role to teach children to develop a healthy relationship with all of our emotions (not just the happy ones), and how to manage when things don’t go as expected.”
Kids really benefit from hearing the word no
While none of us like hearing the word no (like when your partner says “no you shouldn’t have another glass of wine”) there are real benefits for kids!
Hearing the word no helps kids build resilience, frustration tolerance, and helps them form realistic expectations about the world around them.
Saying no also helps us model assertiveness skills and gives our kids the platform to build their own assertiveness and teaching them that it's okay for them to say ‘no’ to others as they grow. This is vital for our kids to set healthy boundaries and develop respectful relationships as they get older.
“It’s okay for children to feel uncomfortable when they don’t get what they want. Without this feeling, they would never learn to face problems in their life,” Grace says. “Saying ‘no’ also teaches children to delay gratification, which has been found to be incredibly important for lifelong success into adulthood.”
Saying no is good parenting
Contrary to popular opinion amongst our youngest citizens, good parenting is not all about making children happy 24/7 or giving them anything they want.
In fact, Grace says good parenting is about parenting good humans by teaching kids skills they will take with them throughout their lives. In other words, saying ‘no’ is a vital part of good parenting.
All you need to remember is that when the answer is no, regardless of the show your kids might put on, it’s time to say no!