Teaching Kids to Accept A No Answer

Teaching children to accept a "no" answer is important. Knowing how to help children in this area can be a challenge. The following two examples illustrate different ways to help children change, based on their own uniqueness and personality.

One dad said, "I sometimes continue to say no until my daughter accepts my answer and then, after the discussion is over, determine whether to reevaluate the decision based on her response. If she gets angry and mean with me, I point out her demandingness. If she has a gracious response I consider whether I can change my answer."

Another dad had a different approach. "As I evaluated my interaction with Joey I discovered that I would say no too early in the dialogue. This would move him into an attacking mode because he was frustrated that I didn't hear him out. I realized that I was making a decision too quickly. As I spent more time listening and affirming his ideas before I made a decision, I saw a change in his attitude toward my final answer."

Both of these parents accomplished the goal of helping their children learn to accept a no answer. The first dad determined to say no in order to train his daughter to respond graciously. The second dad postponed his answer to let his son feel understood. Because children and parents are all different, you must look for things that will work for your family. By evaluating your present routines and then making some well-planned adjustments, you will see change in your children as well.

What are some practical ways you teach kids to accept no?

Milan Tomic

Hi. I’m Designer of Blog Magic. I’m CEO/Founder of ThemeXpose. I’m Creative Art Director, Web Designer, UI/UX Designer, Interaction Designer, Industrial Designer, Web Developer, Business Enthusiast, StartUp Enthusiast, Speaker, Writer and Photographer. Inspired to make things looks better.

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  1. For my kids to accept a no answer, I always reassure that there is a reason for a no (we need to honor the structure of the unit, I care about your needs but your needs have to be balanced by the needs of the unit.)

  2. When my daughter was younger (2-4yrs) she struggled with the bluntness of the words 'no', 'don't', 'stop' etc, and they almost always resulted in power struggles. For some reason, I decided to become the 'yes'-mamma. My answers always had the word 'yes': Yes you may have some chocolate tomorrow. Yes I also like playing in mud, but we'll do it another time.

    You get the idea.

    When I did this, she accepted my responses. I realised that she actually didn't have a problem with the concept of 'no', but for her the words, at that age, were too harsh.

    She's now 6 and half and mature enough to cope with all the words we used to avoid :)