9 Prominent Reasons why Saying No to Your Child is not Working

You may have tried numerous strategies but are you curious why saying No to your child is not working? Here are few points which you might have overlooked!

After an inevitable delay, I am back again with a new topic in the series Saying No to your Child. This will also be the last post in this series. I believe you all had a good insight about the ‘Art of saying No’ from my previous posts. We talked about The impression of No on parents and kids, 7 Reasons why you should be saying No to your children, 6 Right ways to say No to your child and 5 Skills needed to succeed in saying No to your child. I hope all these added a little bit of value to you and your child’s life. Today I will be sharing with you, few reasons why saying no to your child is not working as you expected.

The ever daunting mission

To instill a new phenomenon with your toddler you will require immense tolerance, coherent skills and mind blowing techniques. From my experience, it is definitely a more challenging errand than completing your project before the deadline or dealing with an intransigent client. All these now looks like a cup of cake to me, in contrast to raising my twin toddlers.

So how much ever effort you take to inculcate a new idea or attitude in your child, there is nothing to amaze if you are always failing in the mission. You may experience a similar set back, if you are in the process of saying No to your child or you may have luckily succeeded in your expedition. What was the outcome? Did it go well as you wanted it to be or are you facing any difficulties?

You may be on any side of the coin (failed in saying no or succeeded in saying no) , still I can relate to you very well. Obviously I have had myself in both the places. First I failed, then I realized the mistakes, had hard time correcting them and now I am slowly marching towards success but still with few inescapable glitches happening every now and then. Oh with twins! It’s not as easy as I say! They give me different kind of challenges. Our story will be going endless, so let me stop here and get back to the business 🙂

9 Prominent reasons why saying No to your child is not working

Even though you followed the right ways to say no, it is still possible that you may not be seeing good results. There are few points which you might have missed in the process, which is why, saying no to your child is not working.

Once you start with your assignment of saying No, there are high chances you will see a positive change in your child. But there is also an equivalent possibility, that you will not see any change (which is better) or you will see a negative aspect building in your child’s behavior(which is worst).

In any case, wait and don’t give up! After trying for long, it’s quite natural that you feel frustrated watching your child’s behavior turn negative, instead of the good change you anticipated would happen. Hold on with your hope for the wellness of your little one.

You need to tweak few more things to see the complete result in your child. So let’s look into the 9 prominent reasons why saying No to your child is not working well. Once you identify and correct the slip-ups, the magic is going to work and you will start seeing positive results.

#1 Not holding on to the No

In reality, you say No to your kids at many occasions. But you may not possess the power to hold on to the No, as you get emotionally moved by their reaction. Here are few situations where you may say No, but cannot stick to it and have to watch yourself fail.

Your child wants to have junk food

You say No. Your child doesn’t understand why you refuse him a food that he likes. He cries, yells and you give up. This happens every time and you are never able to build a healthy eating habit.

You are in a toy shop and your child wants to buy a toy which is already there at home

You say No and point out that you already have one at home. Child stands on his point and is in the verge of throwing a tantrum. You want to avoid a mess in the public and buy the toy he demands.

Here you are teaching your child he can get anything done by showing anger and shouting/raising his voice in public. Your child doesn’t realize the worth of hard earned money and the difference between needs and wants.

Your child is sick but wants to have an ice cream/chocolate

You say No and explain he can have it once he has recovered. Kid is very sad. You feel sympathetic and say ‘OK! one bite’ and end up letting him eat the whole lot. Your child has missed the opportunity to learn about delayed gratification and self control.

As parents, you understand what is good for your kids and very well know when to say No to them. The problem is holding on to the No with a stubborn heart. So the primary cause why saying No to your child is not working may be because you are not able to hold on to your No.

You certainly want your children not to suffer in the future and handle life in a better way. Then it is necessary that you have to say a headstrong No, as and when the need arises.

Recommended : 12 Common myths about children’s teeth that you should STOP believing

#2 Overdoing No

Once you start with saying No, there are chances you may be saying No to too many things at once, either knowingly or unknowingly. But this innocent fault can have hidden impacts. You will be distressing your child and impairing his emotions. He surely cannot take a No for everything now, which he used to do without any hindrance before. This will obviously turn your child to be obstinate and stroppy. This can be one of the many reasons why saying No to your child is not working.

So to start with, concentrate on only one thing which you want to correct. Prioritize those main activities which you need to restrict and take one step at a time. Keep it going slowly, so that he can digest the displeasure and accept the curtailment without making much fuss.

Never overdo your No.

#3 Not consistent in saying No

When you are restricting your child from doing something, you should be consistent in your regulation every-time and everywhere. If you are not allowing him to do some activity at one moment but letting him do it at a different instance, then he will be naturally confused.

Never be flexible with your guidelines unless it is really necessary and reasonable. Even in such a case, explain him why he is allowed to do something now, which he was not permitted to do before. This will reduce the flummox the next time when you control him for the same activity.

Be consistent in saying No.

#4 Being partial in saying no

You will be loving all your children and caring for them equally. But each child’s needs may be different at any time and you have to limit them accordingly from doing certain things. It is very difficult to handle such scenarios and avoid your children from feeling that you are being biased.

Again the key factor to handle those moments is reasoning. These are few delicate situations where you should stop and explain, why you have to limit your child from doing it while his brother/sister is allowed to do. If you neglect to detail the purpose and just say a sturdy No, your child will sense that he is being abandoned and from there will start his gloomy behavior.

Being partial to your children may be required, but do it only after proper reasoning.

#5 Not able to explain the reason for no

Don’t get annoyed, as this point is also about reasoning your No 🙂 Reasoning your act carries more significance whether it involves a child or an adult.

Whoever it may be, they will trust you and will abide by your words only after you can justify your action. Children are no exception to this. Which is why, I insisted about reasoning in the third and fourth points. If you are simply curbing your kid without a reason or purpose, he is certainly not going to listen and there is no surprise why saying No to your child is not working.

If you are saying No, you should have a reason for it. You should be ready to sit and describe, until your kid grasps it.

#6 Lack of consensus between parents

As individuals, we all have distinct perspectives about each and every aspect of life. The difference in opinion will carry forward to your parenting style too. Father and mother having divergent views in bringing up their kids is pretty common in many households. However this can have a great effect on your kids, if the disagreement is showcased before them.

Specially when you are saying No to something and your spouse gives a green signal to proceed, then this is surely going to create a lot of uncertainty and deplorable conduct.

Hence it is firmly necessary for both the parents to arrive at a liaison on what is good or bad for your kids, well before restricting them from anything.

Recommended : The New Year resolutions of a Mother(Free Printable Ideas)

#7 Not setting the limitations before hand

Most of the times children will be ready to follow their parent’s regulations. The one thing which will make them demented, is when you pull them right at the moment when they enjoy doing something. So it is not their fault to do things which are not right. The liability is with the parents, who have to speak in advance and detail the do’s and don’ts.  This may be the reason why saying No to your child is not working.

Don’t always drag your child when he is in action. Detail the limitations well before and give them time to perceive the logic and behave.

#8 Giving too many alternatives

Some of you may be following the approach of presenting other options to restrict your child from certain behavior. That is one technique which you can practice once in a while. But if you keep on doing it for all your Nos, then you will be caught in another mishap. You will be forced to bribe your kid, to limit him from doing anything. He will start expecting it from you and will not relax unless he is provided with a well worthy alternative.

Regulating your child by giving too many choices every time is not the right way of saying no.

#9 Being angry and loosing your cool

Above all other reasons your composure is what will decide your success in setting limitations to your child. If you are enraged and yelling every time your kid is not listening to you, then it will only persuade your child to abandon your words. He will close his ears to your reasoning and start behaving more adversely.

Get away from your anger and gain more forbearance.

Raising up a well behaved and well mannered child cannot happen over night.

So these are the 9 prominent reasons why saying No to your child is not working and there can be many more. Its our accountability to identify them, find means to tackle those obstacles and guide our children in the right way of living.  I am still struggling to get away with few of these barriers, but I don’t intend to stop midway anytime.

Hope I addressed your long time tormenting query – why saying no to your child is not working? If you have more reasons to add to this list, please feel free to add it in the comments section.

If you found this post could add value to someone’s parenting life, please share it and show your love to them.

With this article, I am winding up the series ‘Saying No to your Child’ with the contentment of sharing some worthy points with my fellow parents. Hope it made some difference in your parenting journey. Will meet you soon with yet another enthralling series.

Posts in the series ‘Saying NO to your Child’

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You may have tried numerous strategies, but are you curious why saying No to your child is not working? Here are few points which you might have overlooked!


Image credits : Main image by stockimages via freedigitalphotos.net

About Janani Viswanathan

Janani Viswanathan, is a proud stay @ home mom of twin boys and an ex-software professional. She rejoices her motherhood and spreads the happiness by sharing her experience in raising twin kids. She loves to explore the world of parenting and discover numerous ways to bring up emotionally and physically strong children. If she isn't blogging, then you can presume that her little ones are keeping their mom busy.

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