How To Say ‘Yes’ To Your Children


Karen Phillip

Relationships Expert

‘Yes’ is a great word and can be used to our advantage. Saying yes can deflate a situation because it is a pause word.  When a child hears yes, they have to stop to hear what you are saying yes to. That being said, we should not say yes to things we do not agree with or do not want to give our children. We only say yes if it is in regards to something we may consider getting them.

When we say yes to a child, and you will consider something, this will appease their demands. This works particularly well when out in public or shopping. When they ask for a treat or toy from the shop you can reply with “Yes, I can hear how much you would like that treat now, and yes, I will think about it for you a little later.”

Once the child hears a yes they usually stop, think about the opportunity they have and settle. If they start any performances you can simply remind them you are still considering their treat however if they choose to behave badly then you may choose to not allow them to have it. Again this is an opportunity for a child to get what it is they want and they usually choose to behave in a way that will make that opportunity happen.

Many parents ask me if the child will expect that treat and what happens if you decide not to give it. I normally suggest giving the occasional treat. Perhaps give it the first time and remind them that you have chosen to provide that treat ‘this time’. Then I suggest not giving the treat the following time if that is what you decide and tell your child of your decision. Perhaps it may be they didn’t deserve it, too close now to dinner, not enough cash left, etc. Whatever reason ensure they understand you have decided not to this time however you may decide to give it to them next time. If the child comes up with a “you said” then again respond with “Yes, you are correct I did say yes I would consider it, however this time I have chosen not to, although next time I may”.

The child remains with the understanding they may in fact get it sometime soon. If however they react badly you simply remind them it is most regrettable they have decided to misbehave as you may have considered it later, however now you are reassessing your decision. Do not tell them either way when you are out. Keep it to a safer time when more private, in case of a reaction.

Most children will quickly realise that if mum or dad says maybe, then they really do have a chance of getting it. If however mum or dad directly say No then the child’s only option to get what they want is to throw a tantrum so their embarrassed mum and dad will give in by rewarding them to keep them quiet.

Watch the video below to learn more about saying yes to children.

feature image via pinterest

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