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Today, parenting has become more of passive than assertive. This is because most parents feel their core job is to make the child happy under all circumstances. But that shouldn't be the attitude. Agreeing to all your kids' demand will only make them take things for granted. As a parent, you must help your kids understand the basic rules of life, the limits and the results of their actions. This is what can help them be socially and morally self-responsible.
The answer to this question can vary from person to person. Some parents do it just to please the child, while some fail to say no fearing this might withdraw the child from them. A few others just give up before the tantrums, and obstinate behavior kids come up with when declined on anything. Whatever the reasons are, the fact is that parents fail to say 'No' and kids don't want to take a 'No'. Smita Parikh, a housewife and a mother of a 4 year old says, “ My daughter Aanya is very fond of chocolates and has one bar of it everyday. It has even started affecting her teeth, but she pays no heed. No matter how many times I say 'No' to her, she never relents. She starts crying, gets violent and refuses to eat until the chocolate is given”.
Smita is not the only parent who fails to say 'No' to her child. Most parents find it difficult and owing to some or the other reason, they give up before their child's demand.
When you keep on fulfilling all their demands, kids develop this feeling that they can have anything or everything the way they want. To be precise, such kids upon growing up, will never be able to deal with rejections or denials. Be it at school, college or workplace; they will always want others to fulfill their demands the way their parents have been doing. And you very well know, such a thing is not possible in the real world.
Assertive parenting doesn't always stand for being harsh or overly strict. If saying 'No' is important then saying it in the right way is more important. Too much of denial can make your child rebellious in the future. So, to avoid that scenario, make it a point to do things in a positive manner.
1. Analyze the demand: Your child wants to visit his friend, and you immediately say No. Well, it's not necessary that you have to turn down each and every demand without realizing the genuineness of it. Analyze whether the demand is a fair one or not and take your decision accordingly.
2. Give reasons to support your decision: After analyzing, if you feel that the demand is not worth entertaining, give reasons to your child as to what made you say no. If suppose your child wants another candy when he already had one, explain how eating too much of it can affect his health, harm his teeth or even worse. Once you make the child understand the consequences in a calm manner, he surely will understand.
3. Give a choice or alternative: Take for an instance the candy demand. When you refuse to give a candy to the child and even explain the reason, try and present him with a choice or alternative. You can offer him with some healthy choice like a veggie soup, corn flakes or anything that he likes and is healthy as well. If he insists on playing with the ball inside the house, explain how it might break some valuable thing or even hurt someone. Give a choice of playing outside and enjoy the freedom of playing in the wide space. When given choices, kids feel they still have power over the situation and they use it wisely.
4. Make them prioritize things: This is again a great and positive way of saying No. When your kids demand of certain things, tell them that you will fulfill only the one which is the most important of all. Say, he demands quite a few things as a birthday gift. Ask him to list down the ones that hold maximum priority. This way you will get to do things in your way without having to turn down any of his demands. Also, the child will learn the importance of prioritizing things.
Remember, when dealing with kid's demand and wishes, you must always adopt a positive approach. The child must never feel anything negative over the rejection or denial. More than the material things you provide, kids cherish the feelings you have for them!