top of page

10 Creative Ways to Say "No" to Your Child

"Mom, can I go to the mall with Andrea?" asks Sara.

"No, honey you can't," answers Mom.

"Pleeeeeeease," begs Sara.

"No! And that's final," Mom retorts.

"Mom why? All my friends get to go to the mall?" pushes Sara.

"You are too young. We have talked about this before... yada yada yada," drones mother on with her explanation to which, her daughter has tuned out minutes ago.

Saying "no" to your child can be difficult. Sometimes we end up feeling like a broken record that says "no" all the time. This can be wearing on our parenting psyches. Yet saying "no" is a necessary ingredient to help children grow and to be able to say "no" themselves. Here are 10 variations of saying "no" to add to your repertoire.

"Mom, can I go to the mall with Andrea?" asks Sara.

"No, you can't go without adult supervision. I would be willing to take you and walk behind you to give you and your friends some privacy."

Of course there are times when you should say, "no" and mean "no". At those times it is helpful to make direct eye contact with the child and in a firm and neutral tone of voice, say the word "no," ONCE. Some children do best with a brief reason why they are being told no. However, it is essential that this explanation is very short. Keep it short to avoid turning this into a lecture. Do not get into an argument. If you do, your child will learn that if he wears you down, you will give in.

Saying "no" to your child can be one of the most important things you do for a child because it lets your child know that you have limits. Limits make children feel secure and cared for and you don't have to feel like a tyrant to do so. Sometimes children react negatively when we get clearer about saying "no". Taking a parenting class is an ideal place to practice and get support handling situations like these.

Parenting Practice: This week, try using one new method of saying "No".


Parenting can be quite the challenge. It is always good to have new tools in your "parenting tool box." Want personal coaching and problem solving solutions? Sign up for a FREE 15 Minute Strategy Session. We will pinpoint an irksome behavior and plan a strategy for resolving this issue.


If this message today spoke to you today, share with me or your friends how it affected you and comment on our social media!

Kathryn Kvols

Author, Lecturer, Parenting Coach

(352) 494-1581

Click for Quick Links:

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page