by Julia Cook
Like all kids (and adults!), RJ just doesn’t like it when he asks for something, and the answer is “No!”. He feels the answer is too often “No!”, and sometimes he thinks his real name must surely be “No RJ”. He tries his best to get his parents and teacher to change their answer from “No!” to a “Maybe” or “We’ll see” or “I’ll think about it”.
RJ’s teacher runs the Say YES to NO Club, but to join requires two things: “Accept “No” for an answer, and learn how to disagree appropriately”. Will RJ be able to do this? Will his name be put on a star on the board? Will he win one of his teacher’s awesome prizes?
Boystown Press presents this wonderful contribution by former educator and school counselor, Julia Cook, who “wants the best for children as they encounter life’s hurdles”. Her books are “proven to keep kids on the right track while working through things they may not yet understand”.
We started our Book Club Hour at Thorntree Prep today with a game called “May I Have Your Seat, Please?”, where one child offers a bean bag to another in exchange for their seat. If the answer is “No”, the child must find someone else to approach, if the answer is “Yes”, that child gets up and offers the bean bag to someone else in exchange for their seat. The game teaches children to take “No” for an answer when they make requests, to give clear answers instead of “Maybe” or “We’ll see”, and that we can say “No” even when afraid of someone’s negative reaction.
I just don’t like the sound of NO! by Julia Cook gives children a practical guide, and includes some tips for parents and teachers about teaching children on accepting no for an answer, and how to disagree appropriately.
The children learned
- why it is important to accept NO for an answer
- what makes “no” so hard to accept sometimes
- that we can’t always do or have what we want in school or at home, but we still need to participate appropriately
- that only sometimes we are given a reason why we are being told NO, and if we don’t agree with the reason or won’t accept the answer, we can get into an argument that makes things unpleasant for everyone around
The theme of the book tied in wonderfully with Habits of Mind – #2 Managing Impulsivity (thinking before acting; remaining calm, thoughtful and deliberative).
I just don’t like the sound of NO! is one in a series of kid-friendly titles to teach social skills. New publications include series on building relationships, mastering the art of communication and helping kids take responsibility for their behaviours.