As parents, your intention behind refusing something to your children is always good. You want to protect them from harm, you know that it is not the right time to give or allow them what they want, or you are just not in the mood to indulge them for some reason.

But, when you say ‘no’ to your children for something, they tend to interpret it in different ways. They will simply ignore and pretend not to hear you. They will obediently listen to you and accept your ‘no’ easily. They will rebel, throw a tantrum, or make a scene. They will get terrified because they sensed fear or rebuke in the way you said ‘no’.

Either way, it will strain the relationship between you and your child. So, instead of saying ‘no’ explicitly, try the following positive parenting strategies:

Give Options

Let’s say, your child wants to eat ice cream instead of milk in the morning. You can tell him or her that s/he can get two scoops of ice cream after lunch or just a little bit if s/he wants it in the morning.

The chances are that your child will go for the first option. You didn’t even have to say ‘no’!


If they are crying or whining for something that you don’t agree to, just try to distract their attention. For example, if they want to buy a new toy from a shop, you can engage them in some other interesting activity like ‘let’s go and eat a pizza!’ or ‘do you want to sit in a ride?’.

Weave a Story or Take Example from Books/Movies

When your children are not ready to understand the ‘no’, give them a reference of moral lessons from a book they have read or movie/cartoon they have watched. If nothing comes to your mind, just make up a fake story and tell them😊

Don’t Fool Around the Answer

Children, especially pre-teens and teens want a conclusive answer when they ask or demand something. When you try to avoid it with phrases like ‘I am not sure’ or ‘let me think’, they will nag you even more. So, give them a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Give them a logical explanation about why you decided to say ‘no’.

Be Firm When the Situation Demands

There are times when you know that a ‘no’ is the best for your child. For example, the child wants to play on a swing that is almost broken or enjoy a late-night party with friends without giving adequate details with whom or where s/he wants to go. Do not buckle in if you feel that the situation is unsafe, or your child is being unreasonable about the demand.

Don’t Hesitate to Discipline

At times, the situation can get out of hands and you may need to warn your child of the consequences. For example, if you tell your children that they will be grounded if they don’t listen to you, then do act upon it as and when required.

It’s Ok to Given in

Frequent or continuous ‘noes’ can irritate your child and make them feel disconnected from you. Depending on the situation, don’t mind indulging them in their whims and fancies occasionally. So, if you are on a vacation, and the child wants to buy chocolates every day, just given in to make them happy.

Do you have any trick up your sleeve to say ‘no’ to your child? Share it with Kidwise readers!

About Smita Omar

Smita is an ex banker who voluntary said adiós to a high flying career to explore the rocky yet beautiful terrain of motherhood. When she is not busy juggling between her naughty daughter and foodie husband, you can find her donning the hat of a freelance content developer-editor to keep her sanity intact. She has been a Work-From-Home-Mother for 8 years and turns to meditation when the going gets tough.

  1. Komaljit Kaur 3 years ago

    The first option works wonders for my toddler.

  2. Sanjana Bhatt 3 years ago

    Kids have become very intolerant these days. They just don’t take a no for anything.

  3. Sameer M 3 years ago

    All good and age appropriate points. Nice.

Leave a reply

©2024 Kidwise . All trademarks used on this website are the property of their respective owners.


Register or Login


Register | Login

with your email ID

By registering you are agreeing with the Terms of Use and the Privacy Policy.


Is your child 21st Century ready?

21st century skills for kids

Introduce your kids to 21st Century skills & other exciting hobbies.

Book FREE DEMO CLASSES to help them discover their interests & expand their horizons!

Book Now



Here are some sample reviews from parents, to help you to share your own experiences:

Best classes for mathematics in Erandwane/Kothrud area. Limited kids per batch and give personal attention. We had a very good experience. My daughter is happy with teaching by ***** teacher.

Very engaging and fun filled sessions for the kids .My 8 year old throughly enjoyed all the sessions. Kids get a platform to express their views on various topics. Suggestion is to make this workshop extended from 1 month to 2 months or more.

My child has made excellent growth. The teacher gives attention to every child adequately and my child is very eager to attend the classes. And the teacher also has excellent skills in art.

We have seen ***** school growing from a pretty new school to a developed school in last four years. They focus lot on academics, extra curricular  actives and lot more.  They embed a lot of fun activities with academics which makes kids picks the basics as well as advance topics pretty well.  Teachers are attentive and they provide a very elaborated feedback about the child on quarterly basis. In short it's fairly a good option for kids for their overall growth.

Highly mismanaged branch of *****. Poor planning. No proper communication with parents. Teacher retention is very low. Good teachers gets transferred to other centres. In past 3-4 years 3 principal changed. Everything they do is for name sake. Workshops/ seminars are more of a sales  pitches. 10% return of value for your money.