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Getting Your Grandkids to Say 'Yes' to Hearing 'No'

​Kids don't like to be told "no," especially when they've got their heart set on doing something or getting something they want.

But accepting "no" for an answer is a basic skill every child must learn. The steps to the skill are:

  • Look at the person who is telling you "no."
  • Say "​okay."
  • Stay calm.
  • If you disagree or want to know why, ask later.

Here are some tips for making your teaching of this skill to your grandchild even more effective:

  • Always try to give genuine verbal praise to your grandchildren whenever they accept "no" for an answer or when they disagree appropriately.
  • If your grandchildren will not take "no" for an answer, and you reward them by "giving in,"they will learn that "no" doesn't mean "no" - it just means "keep trying!"
  • When giving a child a reason for saying "no," be concise and to the point. A long, drawn-out explanation is neither necessary nor productive. You can always explain your reasons later, when your grandchild is calm.
  • When your grandchild disagrees with you appropriately, reward the behavior by actively listening to what he or she is telling you.
  • You also should set rules and boundaries for grandchildren, establish reasonable consequences when they are violated, and follow through with the consequences you have set.