I find that I am telling my youngster, “No,” so often that it disturbs me. I want to be positive, but “No” sounds so negative. Do you have any suggestions?
Interesting that you asked this question since I ran into a similar situation recently with my wife. We were about to attend a “Robbie Burns Dinner”—a formal event dedicated to the memory of the gifted Scottish poet and song writer who gave us such world classics as “Auld Lange Syne” and “My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose.”
I planned to wear formal Scottish attire—a “Montrose” jacket and kilt. My wife inquired if she should wear a certain dress that she had selected. I asked myself, “How do I delicately tell Evelyn to make a different selection?”
I simply replied, “Not for this occasion.”
Consider using the same opening words when your youngster starts to do something for which you do not wish to give approval. It may sound like, “Not right now,” “Not until I have time to think about that,” “Not against the wall; can you make a better choice?” etc.
“Not” simply doesn’t carry the same negative overtone of finality that “No” connotes.