The Habit of Saying ‘NO’!!! – What do Children learn from it???

Jumpstart _Saying No

Our enthusiastic core team member shares her views on one of the most issue parents face is ‘ The Habit of Saying ‘NO

We see children play every day around us. They try to do different things each day. Sometimes they try to paint the walls with crayons, they snatch things from others, they even throw away toys and things in the house and sometimes their food becomes their toy on the dining table.

They scream, they shout, they push, they yell, they cry, they do many things each day that we adults do not want them to do at all.

As parents and caring adults, we always want to safeguard them from danger.

A small child, who enters the kitchen to play, doesn’t know that the fire on the burning gas is harmful; or the knife can cut his finger.

A child only knows to explore the new world around him. It is the job of the parents and the adults around the child to tell him what to do and what not to do.

Jumpstart_Saying No

Sadly, this is what we usually do:

 a. “Don’t go in the kitchen, you will hurt yourself…”

b. “No! Do not colour the walls, it becomes dirty…”

c. “Don’t play with the food…”

d. “Not now. Do it later.”

e. “No! Don’t go there…”

f. “No!”

g. “Don’t!

h. “Stop!”

We bombard our children with the word ‘No’ so many times in a day that we don’t even realize it. A ‘NO’ to everything you want and like to do would be really frustrating and irritating, its really important to get rid of The Habit of saying No.


Put ourselves in their shoes:

Imagine your spouse or your boss at your office or your parent kept telling you ‘NO’ or ‘Don’t’ or ‘Not now’ for everything you tried to do all the time.

For example: “Don’t come to the office”, what do you do then? Do you go somewhere else? Consider it as a holiday? You choose to stay at home? Or you still go to the office because you don’t know what else to do?

Children learn by imitation. They copy what their parents, teachers do

When you keep saying NO to your child all the time, your child too learns to say NO to you. Many parents are concerned that their child doesn’t listen to what they say

Sometimes teachers too find it difficult to handle children who constantly say NO to do anything they are asked to do

Teachers may name them as fussy children although the parents often don’t realize that it is in the parents and teachers hands to teach the child to say YES to what he needs to

So, does that mean you should not say ‘NO’ to the child??? What if the child is hitting someone?? What if the child is about to break something in the house while playing?? Shouldn’t you tell the child to stop?? Shouldn’t you tell the child to stop doing certain things?? You must right. It’s obvious. If we don’t say ‘NO’ to a child, he / she will never understand what to do and what not to do. So now how do we deal with this problem? How do we ask the child to stop in a way that the child understands and follows what we say?


The art of saying a ‘NO’:

a. The best way to stop a child from doing something is to tell the child what we want him to do rather than what he should not do

b. A ‘NO’ must always be followed by a ‘Yes’. After every sentence about what not to do, immediately say what the child should do

c. E.g. instead of saying “Don’t throw the food” we can say “let us use the spoon to keep the food in our small tiny mouth and chew it”

d. Children often need repetition to understand and follow what we want them to follow

e. So if your child doesn’t do what you want him to do the first time when you tell him, don’t be surprised

f. Make it a habit to avoid using words like ‘NO’, ‘Don’t’, ‘STOP’, etc. and replace them with ‘Please’, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Welcome’ at appropriate times

g. This way the child will slowly pick up what is more appropriate and relevant to him

h. It is important to have patience as different children have different speed for learning


So now turn The Habit of saying a NO into the YES and see the magic on your child!!!


You can also read:

Raising Independent Children

To inculcate a particular habit in your child


Written by:
Heta Merchant

21 thoughts on “The Habit of Saying ‘NO’!!! – What do Children learn from it???”

  1. These lines are true that if we don’t say ‘no ‘ the child won’t understand what to do and what not to do. But it is very explained in the blog that how we can turn that ‘no ‘ into ‘yes’ by using some golden words.

    1. It is very easy to say “No” , but very difficult to make a child understand the reason behind the word “No” . The art of saying No in a positive way followed by “Yes” is very well explained through this blog . Thank you

  2. Beautifully put blog. Its equally imporatant to provide children with a space where they can say no and have freedom of expression however ensuring it doesnt turn into a habit is necessary too. Great tips shared.

  3. This blog makes a great point. Its easy and convinient to say NO to kids when we just want them not to do something but this constant and big NO has long term effects. The tips given for parents and teachers what to say instead of no is really important to inculcate and teach our children In this way.

  4. Nicely written blog and very well explained. This will be helpful for parents to understand and deal with children accordingly. Using golden words instead of “NO” and encouraging them in positive manner without being harsh, can really work in spreading positivity in their small world.

  5. Very beautifully explained and really helpful for parents adults and teachers too
    Children are great imitators of ours.They only know to explore the new world around them.Its parents or adults job that instead of saying no what they exactly do by using golden words & make the atmosphere more happy and positive

  6. Very well written. ‘No’ is itself a negative word. So instead of saying ‘No’, we should change the sentence in a positive way. Children always try to copy their parents and teachers, so if we’ll use words like ‘No’ or ‘Don’t’ then they will learn these negative words and will repeat it.

  7. It is very easy to say “No” , but very difficult to make a child understand the reason behind the word “No” . The art of saying No in a positive way followed by “Yes” is very well explained through this blog . Thank you

  8. Children imitate parents that’s true and so is fact adults too can’t digest the word ‘No’ So how can our little wonders. The subtitle to the word’No’ is very explained. Parents and teachers both will benefit with this tips.
    Very well drafted.

  9. Very well explained in blog about how to avoid negative sentence to stop a child from doing so things that are harmful or inappropriate.

  10. It is indeed time to convert our no’s into yes and it’s definitely not necessary that you always have to say yes..but when a disapproval has to be given to the child find a better alternative!
    This blog is surely an eye opener for many👏

  11. Amazing blog and very well written. The Art of saying No is very well explained it will surely help parents and teachers.

  12. The art is indeed of saying yes after saying the no. Very well written
    . This blog is surely an eye opener for many

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