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To those parents who choose to never say no.

(108 Posts)
00100001 Wed 06-Jul-16 08:40:10

You hear of people raising their children in this way " I never say the word "no" to my child" or similar.

Why are you using this method? What are you hoping to achieve? How do you deal with other adults that say "no" to your child?

I'm not criticising, genuinely curious.

claraschu Wed 06-Jul-16 08:50:22

People who do this sensibly just want to look at things in a positive way: "Put your feet under the table" not "Don't put your feet on the table" etc. Of course, it is ridiculous if taken to extremes.

If you say "no" or "don't do xyz" a stubborn child, it rouses their contrariness. The goal of the people who don't say "no" is to get the child on side rather than antagonising him/her.

Lots of people like to ridicule this, but it can be a really helpful approach.

plimsolls Wed 06-Jul-16 08:51:47

For some people, the "not saying no" part is a slight red herring. The principle is that you teach your child the correct behaviours, modelling them constantly, and then monitor and intervene before they get to a point of doing something that you would actually want to say no to. The more you do of that, the less the child is actually likely to do anything that you'd want them to stop.

In parallel to that, you shower the child with a base level of lots of attention, praise (etc). So, if they do veer towards "unwanted behaviour" the thought of parental disapproval (and the loss of the warm attention and praise) is enough of a disincentive, and No is not necessary.

In order to be properly effective, it's kind of a full time method, involving all the monitoring and intervening I describe above or perhaps better described as a "total approach", like a mindset rather than a strategy.

Sometimes is misunderstood to just mean - all you have to do ignore child's naughty behaviour and just focus on positive. Which can be effective but not always, particularly if you don't want the naughty behaviour at all. Also sometimes very understood to mean "I just don't say no, it limits my child's freedom" which can be problematic.

In general, not noticing a child's good behaviour until they're doing something wrong and then expecting them to respond to someone saying "no"! isnot always effective, basically as they wont necessarily care it's a negative response and might enjoy the fact that someone is noticing them.

claraschu Wed 06-Jul-16 08:52:40

I also think that if you don't say "no" very often, it packs more of a punch.

PolterGoose Wed 06-Jul-16 09:07:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolterGoose Wed 06-Jul-16 09:08:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

00100001 Wed 06-Jul-16 10:22:21

So how do your children react when another adult outright says "no" in response to something?

ParadiseCity Wed 06-Jul-16 10:26:23

I try not to say no for no reason, but don't take it to extremes.

You do need to use a lot of other 'strategies' etc or it can all go wrong. e.g. I have a child in my family whose parents don't say no ever but unfortunately also don't believe in stair gates and fire guards and keeping hot drinks out of the way. They think he is 'accident prone', I think they are useless...

Paintedhandprints Wed 06-Jul-16 10:30:59

Generally try to explain and talk to the child rather than just saying 'no' with no context. Children respond better when things are explained to them. I will sometimes ask 'what are you doing?' when ds is about to throw a toy. It sometimes gets him to stop and think. Or I will say, 'we don't throw toys, do we, because you may hurt someone or break something'. Lots of praise for self restraint etc.
I sometimes slip up when tired and shout 'no' however, but then try to explain why not.
Children who are constantly told 'no' tend to model that behavior when asked to do things like get dressed, etc.
In regards to other people saying 'no', just mitigate it with an explanation yourself. Or let it go by if it's a one off. If they are carers then perhaps try to explain the principle to them.

WorraLiberty Wed 06-Jul-16 10:34:41

So how do your children react when another adult outright says "no" in response to something?

Ime they either give a completely blank stare, or throw a hissy fit.

But my experience is only limited to about 4 children to be fair.

SecretSpy Wed 06-Jul-16 10:34:45

It's not the same as saying yes to everything.

So five minutes before tea, can I have a chocolate biscuit? Yes you can have one after tea. Go and wash your hands it's nearly ready.

(Result, no you can't have a bloody biscuit we're about to eat. But minimal row, hopefully)

Paintedhandprints Wed 06-Jul-16 10:35:46

Distract from dangerous activity also with. When ds starts pulling things out of cupboards I supervise him doing it until he finds it boring and rarely goes in again. When he tried to grab bee's in the garden, I kept telling him they would sting 'ouch'. This took a while. Similarly with hot ovens, etc.
'NO!' is reserved for truly dangerous situations.

AndroidAddict Wed 06-Jul-16 10:38:03

I try to please it in a more positive light because the word 'no' seems to make dd strop even more, so instead of saying, "No, we can't go to the park because you won't get dressed," I try to say, "Yes, when you've got your clothes and shoes on, then we can go to the park."
No matter how many times I say or do this, dh goes down the 'no, can't, won't' route and then wonders why she cries and carries on whenever he asks or tells her to do anything.

Muskateersmummy Wed 06-Jul-16 10:39:39

I generally try to use other phrases and save "no" for extreme situations. If someone else says no to dd, I wouldn't do anything (assuming they had good reason to say no!) other than to talk to her to reinforce why the person had said no.

Mov1ngOn Wed 06-Jul-16 10:40:52

We've tried to do this, especially when small. It seems to have made home much more pleasant.

AndroidAddict Wed 06-Jul-16 10:42:22

I'm not trying to say I'm perfect or that I'm better at this parenting lark than dh, by the way; I'm just saying what I've found works with dd.
Dd and I clash quite a lot, especially on a morning or when I have pmt so I try very hard to be positive with her and give her choices rather than constantly saying no to her every request.

Arfarfanarf Wed 06-Jul-16 10:43:39

It sounds an absolutely beautiful, positive and thoughtful way of raising a child on paper and something that clearly takes a great deal of thought and effort and has absolutely marvellous intentions but I do wonder what sort of adult such a child grows up to be.

because 'out there' no is a word you're going to hear and have to respect.

Do you want to go out with me
no

Will you give me / lend me money
no

Will you marry me
no

can I borrow your car
no

will you sleep with me
no

I mean, I could go on all day. The world is going to say no to these adults a lot and won't be interested in framing a no meaning in positive language.

I would be interested to find adults who were raised in such a way and find out how they cope with people saying a flat out no to them, particularly when they're young adults and experiencing it for the first time and find out what if any difference it made if they never heard no as a child and then had to deal with flat out nos as an adult. How they made that transition, was it easy, did they feel hurt or take it really badly thinking no was a really bad thing because it's not something they'd grown up with or do they simply not accept a no, or do they readily accept it because really it made little difference.

It would be interesting.

roundtable Wed 06-Jul-16 10:49:35

I'd be interested to hear from parents who have adult children who have used this method successfully over all areas of their life and for all children.

My youngest would tie us up in knots if we never said no and would dominate everyone's lives with his demands but my eldest is much more pliable.

WorraLiberty Wed 06-Jul-16 11:14:40

So five minutes before tea, can I have a chocolate biscuit? Yes you can have one after tea. Go and wash your hands it's nearly ready.

"But I want one now"

"You can't have it now because tea's in 5 minutes"

"I don't care. I want it NOW!! I'm going to the kitchen and I'm going to take one anyway".

NO you are not. Now go and wash your hands.

Might as well have said no in the first place and saved all the hassle grin

00100001 Wed 06-Jul-16 11:17:19

I'm torn between, it's only polite and it helps to explain why something can't happen and sometimes the answer is just no, and you shouldn't have to explain yourself iyswim? Should you have to "justify" every decision you make to the 3 year old it concerns? or does that lead to negotiating every little thing?

Often on MN you hear the phrase "No" is a complete sentence when people have asked about how they should respond to a request etc. yet here we are saying that things should be explained etc.

00100001 Wed 06-Jul-16 11:17:51

worra or just give them biscuit grin

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 06-Jul-16 11:23:23

I do both, say no and explain why not. Hasn't done mine any damage at all!

Just as well really, as my experience of primary schools is that teachers and support staff use the world no a lot! 😂

TheyOnceSaid Wed 06-Jul-16 11:28:05

I find it very hard to say "no" to my children, ok I admit I am a bit of a push over, DS6 has an illness so I do spoil him and DD4 is just so well behaved I can never say no to her.

I'm not hoping to achieve anything it's just my way of parenting, and my children aren't around people that would tell them "no"

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 06-Jul-16 11:40:32

They, what about when they go to primary school? High school? Cubs, swimming lessons, youth club, friends parents etc?

If they never hear it from you, how well do you think they will take it from them?

ResetTheMap Wed 06-Jul-16 11:53:02

I try to frame things positively and not automatically say no, and when I do I explain why. But it is a lot of effort to do things that way, to reframe things and be positive and upbeat, and some days (exhaustion, pms, I have some MH issues) I just can't seem to manage it. I notice those are the days when I clash most with my DS1 though.

Um, not sure what my point is? I guess that I find a positive approach helps me enjoy time with my DCs more, and keeps them happier too. But it's hard work (this reframing etc being distinct from just letting your DC do what they want, which I imagine is easier in the short term than laying down boundaries).

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