Young children very often want things they cannot or should not have. “No” can lead to crying and fits, which leads many parents to ‘cave’. An alternative is to present the child with a choice that is more practical or available.
A child picks up a toy in a store and wants the parent to buy it. One possible response is, “I can see you like it very much (validation), but we cannot buy it (speaking in the present). Here is a choice. You can play with it for two minutes or we can leave the store right now.” There is no bargaining or negotiation. In such a case, the parent has to act as the authority, provide alternatives that are fair and reasonable, and follow through on the child’s decision.