Four ways to say “no” without actually saying, “NO!”

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Four ways to say NO without saying NO!

Re-directing away from the negative and toward the positive has always been a big part of Positive Discipline.

An interesting article from Psychology Today provides yet more evidence as to why:

Every time the brain hears or sees a negative word or image, dozens of stress-producing hormones and neurotransmitters are released. “If you vocalize your negativity, or even slightly frown when you say ‘no,’ more stress chemicals will be released, not only in your brain, but in the listener’s brain as well. The listener will experience increased anxiety and irritability, thus undermining cooperation and trust.”

I need more cooperation and trust from my kids, not less!  So what to do?

Here are 4 ways to say no, without saying no!

Rather than, “No, you can’t have ice cream now!”  Try this instead:

  1. Give a choice among acceptable options:

“You may have a banana or apple chips right now; what do you pick?”

  1. Say YES to what you’re willing to do.

“Yes, you may have ice cream after dinner.”

  1. State the rule / agreement in “as soon as / then you can” form.

“As soon as we’ve eaten dinner, then you can have ice cream.”

  1. Try a little ELC™:  Empathize, state the Limit, and give a Choice

Empathize:  You REALLY want some ice cream now, huh.  It’s so yummy; I love it too.

Limit:  And we eat dessert after dinner.

Choice:  You may have some fruit now, or ice cream later.  What do you pick?

The acronym, “ELC” is trademarked and created by Marcilie Smith Boyle. Read more about setting and holding limits with ELC™ here.

For more tips and tools on improving cooperation from your kids while building a relationship of mutual respect for the long term, check out class opportunities here.

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