Child mom

Why Saying No To Your Child Is A Good Thing

As a parent, it is not always easy saying no to your child and some days it feels as if all you’re doing is saying NO. It can be a challenge saying the word NO without your child having a meltdown. Saying no is important since it helps children with developing patience, clear boundaries of behavior, values, and a positive attitude. It is essential for parents to communicate and foster limits that overlap with their own experiences, knowledge, and values. 

Why Saying No To Your Child Is A Good Thing

Parents must say YES too

It is just as vital to acknowledge and emphasize on your child’s proper and positive behavior. Encouraging them and allowing them to do things that are permitted and appropriate gives them openings for learning and achieving self-confidence. 

The right way to say NO

The manner in which you talk to your children reflects on how you would like to be talked to and how your child in turn speak to others. No is a dominant word and easily uttered. And it does have negative repercussions. The word no does not have to be punitive or unkind to be effective, but it is something that shouldn’t be avoided either. It is our job as parents to decide what sort of behavior is proper. If you start listening to your child and he listens to you, you’ll most probably find yourself using the word NO less often. 

5 Tips For Saying NO To Your Child

  • Let them know w hat you want them to do instead of what they shouldn’t do

For example: Instead of saying NO they cannot have ice cream, rather tell them that after they’ve eaten their meal, you’ll all have ice cream. It is important that they know what it is they can do. 

  • Use The Word Stop instead of No

Most of the time when you use the word no, you want him to stop doing what he is doing. Instead of no, try using the word stop. 

  • Offer your child a reason for why you are saying NO

Studies have revealed that kids are often more open to do what you ask if you give them a reason why you ask them not to do something. For example: “If you don’t stop throwing toys at your little brother, you might hurt. Let’s rather see if we can build the tallest tower with them”. 

Sulky girl

  • Provide them an alternative

If you want them to do what you ask of them, it is essential to offer an alternative. For example: If they want to play outside for longer, you can say: “you have been playing outside for a long time now. I see it is getting dark very soon. Let’s do some coloring in together and you can choose which picture.”

  • Commiserate with him and say YES

With this tactic is useful for understanding and acknowledging what it is he is wanting. You can try to say YES instead of No with a more optimistic state of mind. For example: If he asks for sweets, you can reply with: “Yes, you can have some sweets but it is almost dinner time. How about we all have some sweets after we’ve eaten and you can pick and hand them out.”


I hope this article has been helpful to you. It is important to say NO to your child but in the right way to prevent a negative reaction or meltdown. Saying no to your child is important for them to understand their boundaries and developing a sense of their autonomy. 

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  1. I have been finding myself saying “no” more often lately as baba is 21 Months old now (basically already in the terrible two’s stage). I have however tried instead of just saying “no”, try to explain what she is doing is not nice and that someone can get hurt (depending on the situation). This method has actually helped a lot as I figure just saying “no” makes her do whatever it is that she is doing worse. Great advise. Thank you Lynne

    • It is not nice for the little ones to hear no all the time, I totally agree. With my kids I always try phrase things in a positive way, so for example instead of saying don’t run in the house I will say please walk in the house.

  2. Emily Rajagopal

    I have being having such a difficult time with my 6 yr old gal since I was pregnant for my second bby who is now 5 months.

    She has just being acting up refusing to listen aswell.sometimes no matter how nice we speak in saying no she still throws tantrums.i will try these methods thou its sounds gud.

    Im actually at wits end with dealing with this thou.i feel like I’m failing as a is so hectic with seeing to house wrk cookn cleaning aswel as a 5 month old n my gal whose 6 she’s always comparing herself to the baby like example if someone says bby is lookn so cute she will say oh I’m lookn ugly n we dnt leave it like that we keep reassuring her she’s the eldest n she is loved by us n she’s beautiful it jus helps for awhile n then she goes back to bein upset.please anyone with advise?

  3. Thank you for adopting

  4. Me and my 5 year old always end up in a Shouting match and it usually doesn’t work because she just learns more aggresive ways to respond to me.

    • I’ve been there Danielle – I’ve had to learn to do better so that my kids follow my example. Even after making so many changes I often hear things coming out my kids mouths that I don’t like but I can recognize it is from me #Cringe

  5. I don’t use the word no to my son.
    I don’t want my family to use the word no to him either. & that makes its so frustrating.
    Because what do I know as a first time mom.

    I do explain to him what I need of him & he completely understands.
    Even when I have to explain it twice its completely okay.

    He does not use the word no in front of me.
    Instead of saying it or shaking his head saying no he will sign the word no.

    I agree completely with everything that was said. It’s so informative to new moms and moms that’s going through the no phase.

  6. Nolitha Tuntulwana

    I would like to win competition

  7. I really like this thank you. I think all my kids ever hear me say is NO! But i say no the wrong way. I am going to try these especially replacing no with stop!

  8. Would love this for my baby @Kaboutjie #winwithkaboutjie

  9. This is helpful, I am glad that I have been on the right track. But sometimes it is so hard because she presses all the buttons that I have. I will try very hard to teach her

  10. My biggest challenge is when we go to supermarkets and shopping malls. When we leave home I always explain to my son that we are not going to buy sweets or toys, because mommy can’t afford to buy that today. We reach an understanding but when we get to the shops boom he turns on me. He will point to everything and anything that he sees. I eventually get frustrated and start saying “No, No, No you can’t have that” or “I’m not buying you that”

    • It can be very frustrating Sibongile, my kids drove me really batty when they were younger. Thankfully they are now older and not a nightmare in the shop anymore. You don’t say how old your son is but perhaps try using a reward chart? And every time he get a certain amount of stars he gets a reward? I found that to be incredibly helpful as I would award stars for whatever we were currently working on. When they were younger they would get a star when we got home if they were well behaved at the shop. If they were not well behaved they would not get a star. I use the stars now for cleaning up after themselves, doing chores, doing well at school (assignments, exams and reports) and more.

      You can choose whatever you like as a reward at the end, perhaps a small pack of sweets or a chocolate, or if you are short on cash make it something he loves doing that doesn’t cost anything like an outing to the beach or a picnic.

  11. Saying no isn’t easy but it works and the child automatically knows it and look for reasons for you to say yes. I let my no remain. Sometimes it takes a strain seeing your child in the sulky moment

  12. It is hard especially if you say no and give a reason and an alternative they still fight you

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