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Should We Use The Word “No”

Updated: Jun 5, 2019

We have all been in the situation where our kid is about to do something naughty or is trying to get an item they shouldn’t and we go to say the word ‘no’. After all, we want our child to stop doing it immediately and feel this word will help stop the bad behaviour. But there is a rising concern that ‘no’ is actually not the most effective way to discipline your small human. And this has caused great debate between parents with some arguing ‘no’ can cause resentment and negativity. While others on the for argument say it’s the best way to firmly discipline your child. Therefore, I’m looking at some of the reasons for and against the word ‘no’.


The argument for

For some parents, no is a must for their small humans. It helps to control their behaviour and teaches them boundaries from an early age. They know their limits and it can help them in their development. If you don’t say ‘no’ to a child as they are growing up, some people think it can stop them from being able to deal with tough situations as they age. A lot of parents also find that the word helps their child when it comes to self-discipline. And self-discipline is so important for when they get to school age. It’s also said to boost your child’s character and self-esteem when they hear ‘no’ and they start to learn about boundaries. In the book of NO by Susan Newman, it states that they will be more likely to have success in school, relationships and careers if you set boundaries early. There is also an argument that in some situations such as where it can have an effect on the child’s well being, it’s essential that the word ‘no’ is used.


The arguments against

There is a growing argument that ‘no’ is causing a negative effect on our child. Some people argue that using the word is not effective in any situation. They say it can actually cause your child to act out more and become resentful if you are constantly using the word. After all, they can feel like they can’t do anything and could cause them to rebel. In fact, you might find a toddler will tantrum more if they hear the word ‘no’. Also, hearing the word ‘no’ too often will cause them to not listen and react in certain situations. Therefore, you should try to find positive ways to guide your child away from doing a certain act. It might be that you offer an alternative to the current situation which they can do and you should explain the kind of behaviour you expect. Offering them other choices and teaching them better options can help them to become more self-aware. After all, as Laura Markham says in the Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids book, ‘no’ can stop kids using their initiatives and cause them to shut down. So the word can have a lasting effect on your kid.


Now it's over to you, what do you think about the word "no"? It would be great to hear your thoughts on whether we should use the word ‘no’ with our small humans. Email in and let us know where you stand on the debate. hello@supermumsociety.com with the subject "the word no"


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