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The Art of Saying ‘No’: Should You Give Your Kids Everything They Ask For?

Hey everyone! Today on the blog we’re so excited to have a guest post from Tracey Clayton! Tracey is writing about a topic that we as parents face on a daily basis…how to say no!

Hope you enjoy the read as much as I did!

The Art of Saying ‘No’: Should You Give Your Kids Everything They Ask For?

Children ask for things all the time – they learn by imitating others and that’s why they want everything they see on TV or with their peers. However, things get complicated when they start constantly asking for new toys, clothes, gadgets, etc. and parents become too scared to say ‘no’ in fear displeasing their child. Don’t fall into the trap of getting your kids whatever they want because it might turn into a never ending circle. Set up a few ground rules instead and watch your kids become healthy, responsible grownups.

Stay persistent

It’s understandable you want only the best for your children but succumbing to pressure isn’t what your kids need. In order to earn they respect, you have to show persistence, so make sure your initial negative response stays that way, regardless of your child’s reaction. Lots of parents decide to go along with their kids’ wishes once they start crying or get angry but that’s not the right way to deal with your kids’ tantrums. It actually only makes it worse – your kids will realize there’s a way to get everything they want and won’t hesitate to use it. And once that nasty habit is created, kicking it becomes a real nightmare.

Be constructive

Many parents avoid taking children shopping with them because of the fear they’ll force them to buy half of the store but, actually, this could be a good training both for you and your kids. Take them groceries shopping and explain them why is it necessary to buy each of the items. Let them help you assemble the shopping list so you can use it if they ask for something that’s not on the list. If they keep insisting, give them a constructive response they can understand. Base your response on their question, listen carefully, and take some time to come up with an answer. Don’t just say ‘no’ before they ask – show your kids that you’ve put some thought in it and made a decision.

Teach your kids to be eco-friendly

Green practices and lifestyles are becoming broadly popular and teaching your kids a little about it isnot only good for the planet – it can be good for your kids’ development, too. How come? Well, once your kids understand the importance of reducing, reusing, and recycling, it’ll be easier to explain them why won’t you buy them new toys or sneakers. Flea markets and consignment stores can be your greatest ally in this process since you can find great deals on girl clothes and get them hooked to second-hand shopping in no time. Show them how they can make toys from scraps or by twitching old ones and you’ll not only save money but also create a chance to spend some quality DIY time with your kids.

Get them back to reality

The most common answer you get when you ask your kids why they want certain things is ‘because everyone has it’. The truth is that not everyone can have latest toys or trendy clothes and your kids need to be aware of that. Don’t be overprotective – teaching your kids about other people’s struggle can be only beneficial for your kids. When you say ‘no’, children often ask ‘Why, are we poor?’ That is your chance to give your kids important money lessons. The financial skills are one of those things they don’t get to learn about in school but it’s essential if you want your kids to become responsible adults.

Saying ‘no’ is not an easy thing to do, especially to those you love the most but never forget you’re doing it for their own sake. Set some boundaries, be persistent, and, most importantly – talk to your children. They grow up so fast, so make sure they’re prepared properly for the adult world.

About author:

Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”


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7 thoughts on “The Art of Saying ‘No’: Should You Give Your Kids Everything They Ask For?

  1. I had to stop giving my kids everything they asked for because it started to turn into them acting very entitled and like spoiled brats! Luckily we nipped it in the bud early on!

  2. My husband and I have always been very careful to not give our kids everything they ask for. Going beyond material goods, I say ‘no’ to other things too, like snacking all day. I had put myself in a position where I was in the kitchen preparing food for most of the day because I allowed my 3 older kids to graze and snack all day long. So now I have times when “kitchen is closed”. It was a difficult transition for my kids, but now they know to make the most out of meal times.

  3. Saying no can be really hard, especially when you’re tapped out and the persistent whining begins, but it is definitely worthwhile to provide that consistent structure for children. I love that you mentioned providing constructive responses rather than a flat no.

  4. This was good for me to read. My kids are persistent and sometimes I say “yes” just to get a minute of peace. Obviously this is not recommended😬 It’s a work in progress, LOL.

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