It’s okay to tell your kids no

There are many parents out there who truly struggle with saying “no” to their children. Each person has their own reasons but the result is always the same. When you attempt to tell your kid not but do so using other wording, the message that they get is “keep trying”. 

I tell my kids no all the time. If we’re at Wal-Mart and they are asking for toys. No. If we are at the grocery store and they are asking for candy. No. If it’s bedtime and they are asking to stay up and watch a little more television. No. No. No. No.


I don’t even mind saying it. If they’re asking for something they don’t need and there is no reason for me to give it to them, I’m just going to say no. I’m not going to try to come up with some way to cover it up. When I saw this article on The Simple Dollar a couple of weeks ago, I knew that it was for me. If anything, so that I knew that I wasn’t the only one out there depriving their children of sugar and late night video games.

The author, Holly Johnson, states that “it turns out, telling your kids “no” is one habit you’ll probably want to stick with if you want to raise responsible, level-headed adults.” The earlier in life that they get used to being told no, the more likely they are to accept it as an adult. If they do not learn authority as a child, they will really struggle with authority as an adult. Plus, according to Dr. Barbara Greenberg, telling your children no teaches them delayed gratification. It is important, for us as well as our children, to understand that we don’t always just get whatever we want. There is a blessing involved in having to wait for something, or, in some cases not being allowed to have it at all.

So, check out that article. I definitely didn’t cover all the bases of it and it is an excellent read. To all of you parents who might be reading this, Life is Strange and your kids are growing up in it. Stop worrying so much about your children’s feelings. Stop trying to be their friends. Tell them no as often as they need to hear it. It won’t hurt them and, from what we have read here, it will probably, actually be good for them.

10 thoughts on “It’s okay to tell your kids no

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  1. Right on. I fear going into therapy years from now with my kids and learning all may “no’s” were interpreted as, “Dad, I felt like you never had time for me and just said no because you didn’t want me around…” However, I know that’s just a fear and we shouldn’t parent out of fear. Zach I appreciated your post. Thanks!


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