Did You Say ‘NO’? Think Again


Being a teacher, I have come to realize that the word ‘No’ is used a lot with kids. But , does screaming the word ‘Nooooooo’ aloud really helps?? Though you’re only saying it for their good, do your kids really understand??

I don’t think so. The word ‘no’ is a quick response in order to instruct a child not to do something or to protect him from dangerous situations. You don’t even realise how many times in a day you make use of this word, isn’t it?

Frequent use of this word, reduces its impact and desensitizes its meaning for kids. The word – ‘No’, without any explanations or positive associations can leave kids confused, angry and frustrated, or can even force them to create a negative outlook for the world. Sometimes, it can be completely ignored by kids or can also spark instant tantrums. For some kids a plain ‘no’ make them curious to do the opposite. If they don’t understand why you said “no”, then they’re more willing to find it out!

So, is there be a better and a more effective way to tell them “No”?

Yes… there is!

Avoiding a direct ‘No’ can make a child more optimistic.

There are alternative ways to solve the “no” problem without blunt negativity – you just need to think about situations in a different light to break the automatic ‘No’ cycle. You can give your child other choices. This can divert his mind. For example, if the child is eager to get wet in rains and asks for your permission saying “Can I go out in the rain?”. Instead of a blunt ‘No’, say ‘we will enjoy the rains together but after having nice snacks’. You can also give a positive explanation by saying – “You might fall ill, and then you will not be able to enjoy the coming Games period with your friends”. If you can make your child understand why they aren’t getting what they want, they are less likely to react badly.

For younger children, understanding the reason is difficult, so you can use emotions to convince them. You can say “Baby, it gives me headache and increases my work if you play and bang the utensils”. This might take a little longer, but can be a great way to develop your child’s understanding.

Also as action speaks louder than words, the tone of voice, gestures and expression can be more effective than shouting the word, ‘no’.

Of course you can use the word “no” , when you really have to . Just don’t make it as your default expression .


My new identity is I am a mother of a two year old. I am a teacher and a learner too but as of now a SAHM or rather WFHM as I always like to be financially independent...

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