Ways to Say “No” Without Actually Saying It.

I am sure some researcher has the exact number of time the average kid hears the word “no” in a day, but suffice it to say, its plenty!* Kids become immune to hearing “No”.  Kids start to repeat what they hear when they say “no!” back to us. Oh how quickly our children learn that the person who can say “NO” is the person who holds all the power. You will find that if you minimize the times you say “no”, your child is more likely to be co-operative.   Here are some ways to skirt that nasty word and still control the social order of your households:

  • That’s not an option
  • I am unwilling…..
  • Say it in a funny way, ie. ” Never in a gazillion billion years!”
  • Sing, “no no no!”
  • That’s not appropriate.
  • For a younger child – say nothing and use distraction instead
  • Ask: “What do you think?” “Is this a good choice for you?”  (make sure you are willing to abide by his / her answer!)
  • With a youngster that has something you don’t want him to have:  “That is not a toy”
  • Ask “What are your other options?”
  • “No, but I would be wiling to …. “
  • I appreciate your asking, however….
  • “Walls are not for coloring, Here is a peice of paper”
  • Tell them what to do instead, ie, “water needs to stay in the tub”
  • “This is not negotiable”

Print this off and stick it on your fridge.  We all need some crib notes to get through parenting! These gems come from my colleague and mentor Jane Nelson of Positive Parenting, and she has a vibrant community at www.positivediscipline.com that you should all check out too!

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