Situations Where You Have To Take Your Child's Noes Seriously
When it comes to life experience, adults naturally have the advantage over children. This is often why grown-ups feel they know better in certain situations, and sometimes ignore what their kids want to do — though always under the premise of only wanting the best for their little ones.
Yet in some scenarios, we should listen a little more carefully and respect what our children are saying. It's important that the child knows that they can say "No" at certain times. Just like us grown-ups, kids also have a right to make their feelings known when they don't like something or feel under threat.
Here are six situations where you as a parent should take your children's noes seriously...
1. "No, I'm full."
This is probably one of the most frequent noes that parents regularly ignore. However, it's very important for children to learn how much food they need to feel full, thus creating a better understanding of healthy eating habits. Let's be honest: As kids, we hated it when we had to clear our plates even though we were no longer hungry. So respect your child's "No" when they're feeling full, as it helps them learn to make their own decisions.
2. "No, I can dress by myself."
From the very beginning, children mimic the behavior of their parents and siblings, wanting to copy everything the grown-ups do. Getting dressed is no different. Even though it doesn't always work out as it should, you should give your child the chance to dress themselves. That way, you only give them help when they really need it.
3. "No, I don't want to cuddle right now."
We've all had the feeling. Sometimes, there are days or moments when we don't want any human contact with others, even if they are family members, friends or your partner. You simply want to be left alone. And our children are no different. When they don't want to cuddle, you should take it seriously and respect your child's wishes without feeling offended.
4. "No, I don't need help with eating."
From birth, we're used to meticulously preparing meals for our children. We wait until the food has cooled down, cut it into handy, bite-sized pieces and try to make things as easy as possible. We also often feed our kids, even though they can already do it by themselves. So be aware of the moments when your child doesn't want help with eating. Even if they are messy or make a few mistakes, it will help them become more independent. And who wants to be cutting up their 8-year-old's meat into tiny pieces?
5. "No, I don't want to try that."
We want to give our kids every opportunity to try new things. Yet we shouldn't force stuff upon them that they don't want to do. Simply take it easy and let your child make the choice — there will come a time when your kid wants to try as many things as possible without much encouragement, making it more fun in the long run.
6. "No, I'm scared of it."
We should always take our children's fears seriously, even if we don't understand them or they seem trivial to us. As soon as we know what our children are afraid of, we should talk about it with them to make things appear less scary. You don't need a confrontation therapist, open dialog between you and your kid will do.
7. "No, stop tickling me."
Tickle fights can be fun, but you need to know when to stop. Listen carefully to determine whether your child is still giggling or is simply resisting. As soon as they say "No," you should stop right away and accept this. This helps build up trust between you and your kid, while establishing the boundaries that need to be respected.
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From a certain age, children can become provocative and "No" becomes a key part of their vocabulary. At this point, it's important to distinguish between their acts of defiance and actual needs. If your children are really trying to do things on their own, or trying to protect themselves from something, you should take what they say seriously.