Guest Post: The Art of Saying No
This week I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from my friend and fellow blogger Kate, of KateTakes5. Kate writes lots more pearls of wisdom about parenting, fitness and lifestyle at Kate Takes 5. Or you can follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Or you could just read a book instead.
I was in a shop at the weekend with my sister and our daughters buying provisions for the Sunday roast.
‘And can we just get these biscuits too?’ asked her 12 year old.
‘Please, they’re really yum. Ginger. Lovely. Honestly.’
‘Oh come on, please, just one packet?’
‘I said no’
‘Pleeeeaaase. I won’t ask for anything else..’
‘Oh ok then’
Of course I knew from the very start of this that she was going to fold eventually. It’s not that she is particularly weak, or that her daughter is particularly persuasive. It was that innocent little ‘um..’ at the start of the conversation that I knew the girl would pounce on like a tramp on chips. It was a school boy error on my sisters part. Didn’t she know these things?
Perhaps not. So I decided to note down my Top 6 red flags in the art of saying no.
– Never pause before your no. Any millisecond of hesitation will bring with it hours of pester power.
– Like ‘um..’, any language fillers used as a pause for thought will be seen as a sign of weakness and they will go in for the kill.
– Do not reply back with a question. Queries such as ‘When did you have them before?’ ‘Are you going to buy them with your own money?’ will not help. Whatever the question is it will be seen as an opening to continue the harassment and you will lose.
– ‘I don’t think so’. Not good enough. A firm and forceful ‘NO!’, preferably shouted whilst invading the personal space of their face is required.
– ‘We’ll see’. A favourite of mine for some time until I said it to the six year old one day when he persistently asked for ice cream just before dinner. A moment later I heard him whisper to his sister ‘she’s going to give it to us’. Hmmm.
– Puppy dog eyes – don’t be fooled.
I’m sure I’ve missed tonnes of other lapses in concentration that see our wallets invaded and our pockets picked. Do let me know. Together we can share the knowledge and stamp out this atrocity.