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Teach Your Child Refusal Skills

Sometimes your child may face pressure to do something in a relationship that makes him/her uncomfortable. Teaching kids how to say "no" to dangerous or uncomfortable situations will help them gain confidence and stay true to their values.

Sometimes your child needs help knowing what to say. Try role playing with your child about different situations he/she may encounter or simply ask, "What's your plan of action if you are faced with a risky situation?" Some lines you can offer:

  • "No, thanks. That’s not me."
  • "Why do you want to do that? Why is that so important to you?"
  • "I don’t feel comfortable with that and I expect you to respect my feelings."
  • "Let's ______ instead."
    • go to the mall
    • watch a movie
    • ride bikes
    • get something to eat

The bottom line is to encourage your child to stick up for himself/herself with confidence. If all else fails, encourage your child to walk away from the person or situation if possible.