Imagine, you’re walking through the grocery store and your 3 year old sees the latest Paw Patrol toy. They insist that they need to buy it. You tell them no, cue the tears. They scream, they cry, and everyone looks at you. As you hurry through the store to finish, you think “there has to be a better way.”
Or you’re in Claire’s wit your 6 year old, and a cute unicorn stuffy has caught her eye. She pleads with you to buy it, because she just “has to have it”. You firmly say no, she starts to cry and you rush out of the store. Again you’re thinking “there has to be a better way”.
There is a better way! The way we word our sentences mean everything to our children. When we tell them “no” it can have a negative affect, hence why they often cry.
They don’t like being told no. And you know what? I don’t blame them! I don’t like being told no either!
“No” shuts down our ideas, requests, or dreams. It’s as if you are riding a bike and slam into a curb; you stop, you fall, you cry. It can make us feel undervalued, not appreciated, or unloved despite the others best intentions.
Don’t get me wrong, there are times our children need to hear “no” when it involves their safety. But when we have 20 minutes in the store to get in and get out, using “no” can slow us down.
“Not today, another day…” is something we use in our house since Em was little. And it has saved us on so many tantrums in the store!
“Mommy’s not buying the Paw Patrol toy today, another day!” “You have so many unicorn stuffies at home, another day we will buy one.”
Sounds a lot nicer then “no” right?
Why does it work?
Children are impulsive; they see it, they want it, they cry when it doesn’t happen.
When we use the phrase “not today, another day” it gives them something to look forward to. It helps them feel like they’re desires are valued no matter how ridiculous they may seem.
The beauty of “not today, another day” is that small children have short memories! They’re not going to remember tomorrow that you told them another day you would go buy ice cream bars. They’ll just wake up and continue with their day and have an impulse for something new. I mean, we should fulfill their requests from time to time to help them continue to feel valued, but the timing is at our own discretion.
Saving you from buying unnecessary junk food, toys, and knick knacks that they often forget with minutes of being home! Oh, and store tantrums.