Dealing With the Refusal from Your Kid

Between the age of 11 and 15, children start learning about saying no to the demands made to them. If you are able to recall that time, you will come to know that this ‘no’ is something which would make you someone who is separate and ready to make everyone feel about your presence. You would say no to everything even if it’s not too bad.

This habit of you saying ‘no’ at that time was something which would make you express your life force in a boisterous manner. Surely it’s not something bad because it would help you in finding your own place in the world.
Here, you might also recall that your parents wouldn’t be much happier about your habit of saying no. As a matter of fact, your parents would start giving you some hard time because they wouldn’t feel respected due to your habit of refusing every time. You might not be able to remember your mother saying:

  • Your autonomy and independence is adorable.
  • It’s good to see that you are trying to find your own truth.
  • This habit of showing your will is going to help in your life.

Instead, the statements that you would remember are:

  • How dare you to talk to me like that.
  • I think I have to find some way to treat your habit of defiance buddy.
  • You need to learn how to respect and obey your elders.

With this behavior from your parents, you would then learn to hide the no’s. As a result, you would resort to manipulation and passive resistance.
By the time most of the people enter into adulthood, their desire to express their own will is usually buried. Now, they are more likely to say ‘yes’ even to the demands they do not like to fulfill; though, many would wish that they had this choice of refusing and standing on their own opinion.

With that said, your job, as a parent’ remains to listen to your child’s refusal and find a way to deal with in a way that the child’s will remains unhurt.

  • First of all, you will need to stop considering your child’s refusal as something which you need to treat. In fact, you can find a ‘Yes’ in the child’s ‘No’ with the help of negotiation.
  • Don’t take the child’s refusal personally. Instead, you can respect this attitude as willingness in the child that you have been wanting to nurture.
  • Sometimes, children refuse in order to get attention from their parents. So, if you are there to acknowledge that you have heard, the child would then let go of the tantrum and would do anything you say.
  • If your child says ‘no’ to something you ask, you can mask your demand into something your child would like. For instance, if your child doesn’t want to go to bed and insists on playing, you can offer your child to do some bedtime wrestling with you.
  • You can honor the autonomy of your child without compromising on what you want. For instance, if your child wants to play and you want him to bathe; you can offer him to pick the tub with the color of his choice.