Parenting and no


“Mumma please let me watch, last 5 minutes, please.”

“No, switch it off now”. 

“Please mom, you always say a ‘No’ for everything”

Switch it off, now, and I will not repeat myself”.

Small thing it was, no harm in watching T.V. for another 5 minutes. But the important thing for me was to make him understand that a ‘No” means a “No”, and life will throw a lot of “No’s”, towards you, this is just a tiny-miny beginning.

It takes a lot of mental strength to say ‘No’ to your offspring, be it for big things or small; but it is important.  As a parent it is one’s duty to make sure that a child grows up in manner that prepares him for the external world, the world outside his safe cocoon, where he has to be on his own, face his own battles, all the No’s and refusals.

In the present times, I feel this is where most parents fail.  “I cannot say a No to him for anything”.  It starts with ‘he is too small for me to refuse to him’ and then gradually it turns to “you do not know the tantrums, he throws if refused for anything”.

Now my point here is, a child knows that if he throws a tantrum, he will get what he wants, that’s why he behaves difficult. In this situation that if a parent puts his foot down, and keeps patience, these tantrums would end.

Frankly, if a child is use to hearing a “No” since the very young age it never comes to this tantrum phase.  He needs to learn that not everything he wishes will always be available to him.  Now, I am not saying deny him everything, but yes tell him a “No” at least twice a day and very firmly.  It is for his own good.

No one likes to hear that “you are very strict”,  “you don’t love me”, but remember it’s because you love him, you are doing it.

If you train your child to hear the ‘No’s’ in life, it would be very easy for him to take on any challenges that life throws at him, it would make him very strong and a fighter.

Remember we can fight for our kids all our lives but we need to let them fight their battles on their own and train them for the same.  In my view this training starts with the word ‘No’.

Dr. Vidhi Pipara – Psychologist in Ahmedabad, Gujarat in India

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