The Art Of Saying “No” To Your Child

There are 2 types of moms: ones who find it difficult to say “no” to their darling child; and ones who say the word too often.

Both are unhealthy, as it could result in an overly passive child or one who will frequently disobey you. Find the midpoint – know when to say “no”, and which situation you should relent.

Source: Romper

Rephrase your statement

When you’re tempted to say “no”, rephrase it instead. For example, you should say “See if you can roll the ball down the hall,” instead of “No throwing balls in the living room.

In other instances, think of an alternative instead of telling your child not to do something. If they love playing with glue, glitter, paint, or play dough, set up a place for them to play so that they won’t spread it everywhere.

Offer options

Rather than refusing your child chocolate or sweets, offer them a choice between apple or grapes.

If they insist on wearing something ridiculous, let’s say their pyjamas, to kindergarten, give them 2 sensible choices to choose from. This gives them the chance to feel that they have control over their decisions.

Use distractions

If you feel like they are about to do something they shouldn’t quickly distract them.

This way, you won’t be outright saying “no”, and since they are easily distracted, it will work most of the time. If she’s smitten with something in the toy shop, divert with a question like “What should we have for lunch?

Avoid tricky situations

Instead of saying no, try to child-proof your house as best as possible. This will give you less reasons to say “no” to them.

When you’re planning an outing, choose places where your child will be free to roam. If you’re shopping, steer clear of the sweet aisle.


When you find yourself tempted to say “no”, ask yourself if you really should. Is the thing your child about to do that bad? Try to say “no” only when it really affects their wellbeing or safety.

Is your child wanting to jump into a puddle of water really a bad thing? If they want to wear their favourite attire to bed, let them be.┬áSure, it’ll dirty or crumple their attire, but what’s the harm?

Say it like you mean it

There are times when you really need to say “no”, such as when your child is about to hurt someone or themselves.

At times like these, say it like you mean it. Do it firmly but calmly, with conviction and a straight face. Don’t do it with an amused tone or soften when you see their disappointed face. When they listen to you, remember to praise them for a job well done.

Source: Baby Centre.