"My mother taught me some basic philosophies of rearing children. One is that you have to trust children. I tried hard never to say "no" if I could possibly say "yes." I think that worked well because it gave my children the feeling that I trusted them and they were responsible to do the best they could." pg.55
I would like my boys to feel that I trust them and that they are responsible... so I'm going to work on not saying no, except for when it Really matters. I remember in one of my Family Sciences classes discussing how parents should try to save saying "No" for life and death sort of matters or in other words the times that it is really important and then children will learn to respect that word more. And not feel like "I think that is the 100th time today I've heard you say no, why does it matter more this time?" Beyond that they will feel validated and that you have more respect for them because you aren't always giving negative feedback. Of course that doesn't mean you are a doormat to their whims! There are a multitude of other ways to help a child realize that something can't happen the way they want or right at that moment. What else is there to do? Ask questions! If I ask them what is right or wrong (there should be some background lessons during unemotional teaching moments on what is right and wrong) or what we should do, they usually know! If not it is much easier to help them find the right answer then when I say no.... When they give me the answer, they are far less likely to think that throwing a fit will change my mind. They also feel like they are more in control of themselves which helps them feel responsible, trusted, and valued. And though it is sometimes harder for me to do because it requires more forethought... it is much easier and happier for everyone involved!