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For Every 'No', Let There Be A 'Yes'!

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Do you constantly say 'no' to your kids? Sometimes, it seems parents have no choice but to say 'no' constantly to teens when their requests are impossible, dangerous, or just bad choices. We need to find ways to balance the negativity with some positives. We need to say 'yes' more
often. Saying 'no' is necessary. If you overdo the word 'yes' already, this tip is not for you. But if you cannot remember the last time you agreed to a teen's request, you need this tip.

When a teen asks for something you must refuse, try to get them to ask for something else about which you can say yes. An example: They ask to go hang out with friends. You say 'no' since you wish them to engage in more structured activities. Then you add something they can do. "No, you cannot just hang out, but if you want to ask me if I would drive you and Lisa to the movies, you might try that." When they ask, you can reply yes since you already made up your mind about it.

Your teen wants you to buy them a car, but you cannot afford it. You say 'no' emphatically, but tell them to ask if they may get a part-time job to earn the money to get the car. When they ask, you can say yes.

Sometimes your 'yes answers' can be balanced without manipulating the conversation. Kids do ask for things you can agree to occasionally. When this happens and you say yes, remind them you do sometimes grant their requests. We need to be as positive as we can with teens, since negativity is all they see in many cases, mainly due to their own perceptions.

Every chance you get, turn the request you cannot comply with into something you can give the teen. This is one way for your teen to see the positive side of an issue without a battle. You are saying 'no' just as you would if you had gotten into a power struggle, but now it is quickly done and an alternative offered.

This little trick is one step in putting harmony and peace back in the home front.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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