We all resort to the reflexive no when we are asked a request from our child - often we barely hear the request. I'm as guilty of this as many parents are, particularly when I'm stressed or when I can't handle all of their requests. Instead of saying no - these three alternatives will help give kids some age- appropriate control over their world.
1. Instead of saying "No" say..."You're really growing up! From now on, I'm going to let you be responsible for certain things."
This alternative can be used during the morning routine which is stressful for many families. Instead of badgering your child to get dressed, eat and get out the door teach your child to get up and manage their own morning routine. Turning over the responsibility to your child will empower them to make their own choices while still getting the job done. Let your child know what needs to happen every morning, give them the tools they need and make it clear that they are responsible for getting it done. Saying to your child you've shown how responsible you can be and you are now in charge of your morning will make it happen and your child will feel the pride they deserve.
2. Instead of saying "No" say..."When you finish X, you may enjoy Y."
Let you child know that when all of the must do activities are finished then they can enjoy their free time. Once children have the information they need they won't be checking with you all the time and you won't be saying no all of the time.
3. Instead of "No" say..."Let's talk about it."
As our children grow up they gain more responsibility and they encounter new opportunities. When faced with a new request respond with, "let's talk about that." Ask your child why it is important to them, if I say yes to the request what are some important things that you need to remember to do, and lastly what can I as your parent do to help you be more successful. It is important to let your kids know that we are listening to them, taking their needs and desires into account and considering them.
Source: Parents magazine - January 2016