Do you find it hard to say NO to people? And did you notice how sometimes you feel bad for NOT saying NO? I guess some of you might have been into trouble for not saying NO.

I asked because I know I had a hard time saying NO. But I realized it’s important that you say NO especially on situations that you really mean it.

As parents, we should teach our children early in saying NO to friends or people. We don’t know, one day this could save them from a whole lot of trouble.

Saying NO isn’t so bad.

When you say NO to someone, you teach him/her to find other ways to get what he/she wants.

When you say NO, you exert your value as a person.

When you say NO, you stand your ground and show people you are in control of yourself.

When you say NO, you know what you really want.

BUT how do we teach our kids to say NO?

  1. Encourage them to choose on their own. Be there to guide but do not influence or worst, dictate.
  2. Ask them what they like.
  3. Ask if they agree on something or not.
  4. Make them feel that their opinion is valued especially when it’s about them.
  5. Give them the freedom to say NO. The funny thing sometimes is that we don’t LET them say NO at all

I’m not saying you do not teach your children to obey any rules or respect any authority imposed to them. You teach them and guide them to know which situations and circumstances should they say NO to. If it’s something that could possibly harm them or others, then they should have the confidence to say NO.

For me, I teach my children that people around us deserve a certain degree of respect in the same way that people will give you up to a certain level of respect as well.

When you teach your children to say NO and when it’s the right time to say NO, you veer them away from falling victim into dysfunction or abusive relationship. It may seem far off for you when you have little kids but don’t they all go to adulthood one way or another? When do you teach them? When they’ve already fallen victim?

Here are some exercises you can do with your kids to help them realize the value of saying the “proper” NO.

  1. Have your child recall a time when she didn’t want to do something her classmate told her to do. What happened? What should she have done?
  2. Teach your child the right “stance” when standing up against a bully. Let her stand tall, put her hands on her hip, look the bully in the eye and with a firm voice say ” I won’t fight with you. You should stop!”.
  3. Be a good example. Show your children the “proper” way of saying NO. Say something like, “No, you can’t have chocolate before lunch”, “No you can’t go to the party on a Sunday”.
  4. Teach your child to know what she’s getting into and not just say YES. Teach her to ask questions to understand things better. Questions like: “Why do you want me to do these?”, “What do we get from doing this?”
  5. Teach your kids to be brave in showing others (other kids) what is wrong and call it as it is. Call it cheating, stealing, talking back, disobedience, disrespectful, etc.