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  • Sabaa Afzal, LPC

3 Ways to Make Your Child Feel Valued When Saying No

Updated: Oct 1, 2018


Getting your child to listen to you can be a challenge. When they hear the words "NO" and "because I said so", it can cause even more suffering and pain to a child. Instead use these three easy steps to make your child feel valued when you have to set a limit.

  1. Acknowledge the feeling. This is the most important step, without this step, steps two and three are pointless. Why? When children hear that you know how they are feeling, they are more likely to feel seen and understood. It is important to connect the feeling to the behavior.

  2. Communicate the limit. Children have a right to their feelings, but they don’€™t have a right to behave destructively or disrespectfully.

  3. Target alternatives.There’€™s nothing wrong with the impulse/desire, but it needs to be expressed safely/responsibly. Additionally, the child should feel like they have a part in the decision making process. Use choice language.

Now that the steps are written out here is a practical example of how to use them. 1) "I know you were really excited to sleep over at Sara’€™s house this weekend. 2) However, we are committed to have dinner with your grandparents for their anniversary on Saturday night. œ3) You can choose to have Sara over Sunday afternoon or you can choose to have her over next weekend."


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