Using the word ‘No’ does not inform children of what they’ve done or said wrong. Research has even shown that the word ‘no’ produces stress chemicals in the brain, wreaking havoc on normal functioning. Saying ‘Yes’, however, creates a safe, risk-tolerant environment that offers a positive space to try new things, experience success, and even learn from failures. Since most individuals are hard-wired to protect themselves from danger, taking the positive route helps children overcome these fears, opening up new opportunities for them. So, why not plan a ‘Yes’ day and turn it into a learning opportunity to instil responsibility, seek solutions, and vocalise concerns.
Giving your child age-appropriate chores and sparking interest in tasks such as re-organising their toys or finishing their meal are great examples. These activities should also be accompanied with praises and affirmations when they are able to complete the task successfully, or when they show effort in completing the task. Developing resilience and an “I can do it” attitude in your child is also possible through exposure to challenges like climbing up steps on their own. If they’ve decided to take on a task that may be a little challenging for them, motivate them to try completing it and remember to acknowledge their “never give up”. While they’re trying their level best, remember to acknowledge their efforts and “never give up” spirit too! Accompany every task with praises and affirmations when your child is able to complete them or at least puts effort into completing them.