Effective Responses to Kids That Replace “No”

It’s easy to tell our kids “no” when they are about to do something they shouldn’t. However, by defaulting to this short but inherently demanding answer, we often miss opportunities to teach our kids better ways to behave or respond to a situation.

The Love and Logic® approach reminds us that there are other responses that might be more effective. Try one of these approaches instead:

  • Suggest other ways to handle the situation. Ask, “If you did that, would you be making the best choice?”
  • Help them recognize consequences. “If you decide to do that, what do you think will happen?”
  • Ask for more information or explanation. “Give me some reasons why (the action) would be good for you.”
  • Encourage them to think it through. “What are you hoping to gain from this experience?”

By handling situations in this way, we are encouraging our kids to think ahead and accept responsibility for any consequences that may happen. This puts the decision in their hands and gives them the opportunity to learn more from the experience.


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