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How To Teach Your Child to Say No

Updated: Oct 4

Knowing how to say “No” will allow your child to grow into empowered adults in the future. Though as parents, you would have absolutely no complaints if your child is accommodating to your every request and never says No, It is important to teach them how to say No in appropriate situations. Not just for some disagreement on what they are given for breakfast or a delay in bed time.



Benefits Of Teaching Them How To Say No


Regulate Their Actions

Being able to say No to others will also mean they will be able to say No to themselves. They will be able to better regulate their actions. This will even allow them to be more emotionally aware. Click here to learn about the different toddlers behavioural problems you should not ignore.


Form Personal Opinions And Preferences

Being able to form personal opinions and preferences (wherever applicable) will be beneficial for your child in the long run. Decision making will not only be done in the form of accommodating.


Not Easily Swayed Or Influenced

Having strong opinions is not a bad thing. It does not mean that they will end up in a heated debate. Understanding their perspectives and staying grounded to their decision will only better their self-confidence. Being peer-influenced may also be a big concern once your child enters their schooling years. The skill of being able to say No will allow you to have one less concern to worry about.


Build Strong Self-Esteem

As discussed above, many of the benefits are directly or indirectly linked to your child developing a strong self-esteem. In our infant care centre, childcare, preschool, playgroup and kindergarten, our teachers strive to instil strong self-esteem in our students.


For Safety Purposes

Being able to say No in stressful situations where physician and sexual assault may take place personal protection.


As you can see, teaching your child the importance of being able to say No can be seen as an investment for your child to live a more self-esteemed and confident life in the long run. Being able to say No can even be considered a skill, take it from me, someone who struggles with being able to say No. Here are some tips on how to get your shy kid to open up.


Ways To Empower Children To Say No


Be Open To Their Opinions

Never shut down your child’s opinions no matter how ridiculous it may sound. Their justifications to certain things like why they can go to bed an hour later is fine or having to go to the toilet with the doors open is a fine idea. However, try to provide them with reasonings rather than making them feel ridiculed for sharing their opinions. For more serious matters like what extracurricular they would like to participate in or what they’d like to study, please listen to them and acknowledge that your child is another person and they have their own interests.


No Needs Reasoning Behind It

Just being able to say No does not make the cut. Except in situations where it’s their personal space / rights, a simple No will suffice. However, in decision making situations, being able to say No requires a logical reasoning to support their point. Model this behaviour to them. Tell them the reasoning behind why you said No to a certain behaviour. You may follow the PEEL format when speaking with your child. I bet you had used this back in school sometime ago. P (point), E (evidence), E (elaboration) and L (link). I did not appreciate this back then, but I totally appreciate it now. It helps me to avoid committing perceptual biases like circular reasoning.


Reassure Them That It Is Alright To Say No

Let them know that being able to say No will not strain relationships and it is a part of daily hustle and parcel of life. There is no need to over analyse the outcomes of saying No as long as it aligns to their beliefs and opinions. Do ensure that you give them the heads up that they must be able to understand different peoples opinions as well. If not this will turn your child into being stubborn instead.


Empowering your child - Nurture Infant House


Nurture Infant House (Tampines)


At Nurture Infant House, our passion is to love and care for each infant and to provide a safe and interactive environment for infants to learn and grow in body and in mind independently. If you are looking for infant care in Tampines or in East, do visit Nurture Infant House. We have over 30 years of experience in nurturing thousands of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.

If you are looking for a preschool for toddlers and older children in Tampines or in East, do visit Genesis Childcare 1989.

Feel free to book an appointment through WhatsApp. You can visit us at the following venues:


Nurture Infant House (Tampines) (2 to 18 months Infants) Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433

Tel: 96664141

Genesis Childcare 1989 (Tampines)

Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433

Tel: 96664141

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