Do you have a hard time saying no to your kids?

@dfinster (3535)
United States
March 5, 2007 10:37am CST
I was at the grocery store the other day. When I was in the aisle with all the chips and snacks I had to listen to a kid that looked like he was 5 or 6 years old have a tantrum. Not just a little whining, but a full blown screaming tantrum. He wanted some kind of pretzels and the mom had said no. She said no at least 3 or 4 times and that's when he blew up! She said she wasn't going to listen and started to acting like she was going to walk away. This made him scream even louder. I left the aisle because it was so loud and could still hear him on the other side of the store. Later when it was time for me to check out, I saw the mom and her kid in line too. The boy was happy as could be and it was because he had his bag of pretzels that he was screaming for. If I tell my daughter "no" about something she may not like it, but she doesn't behave like that boy did. I don't like telling her "no" but sometimes it's necessary. Is it hard for you to say "no" to your kids? If you do say "no" can they make you change your mind by acting out or taking some other action?
5 people like this
27 responses
• India
5 Mar 07
SAying No to kids is like inviting trouble these days ... the minute you say No there would be an array of question like why not ?? why is he getting to do ?? then what shud I do ?? and so on and so forth .. moreover a NO means a YES for the kid .. when you say no he/she would very much do it for the sake of curiosity as to why cant they do it .. My suggestion here is to try this principle .. start with a Yes and then ask them why they want to do it .. and dont withdraw when they start asking questions in return .. try and understand why your kid wants to do it .. explain him the pros and cons .. when you say yes and then why and then let him do they are consciously aware what they are gettin to do .. otherwise throwing tantrums will always win them what they want .. so a NO would invite tantrums whereas if you start with a YES the question of tantrums doesnt arise for you to fall prey to it ..
1 person likes this
• India
5 Mar 07
This is what I call as YES Parenting .. it really helps .. try it !!
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
5 Mar 07
Great suggestions. Too bad that mother isn't a MyLot member I think she would definately benefit from all the input. Wouldn't it be funny if she was a member? If she knew who I was in this small town it'd make a really interesting discussion if we ran into each other at our towns 1 grocery store,LOL!
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I agree that kids should have to learn to deal with being told no and other similar things. It teaches them to handle those situation better as they grow up and hopefull when their adults.
5 Mar 07
I think that if children are still having tantrums at that age there must be something seriously wrong. They should know that they can't get away with it by then. My daughter certainly wouldn't get any treats if she behaved like that.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I completely agree with you!
• United States
6 Mar 07
My 6 year old still throws tantrums daily, just not in public. She is always so tired and cranky. She melts down at least once a day and will scream and hit and throw things. This is pretty much every single day. She will be 7 in June and never had a tantrum when she was 2 but when she turned 3 she turned into a monster and it has only gotten worse through the years.
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
Among my 3 kids, the eldest, a girl, used to be the most insistent one regarding getting what she wants. She used to have tantrums, cries out loud as though in deep mourning, keeps pouting her mouth for days, shouts and pick fights with her younger brothers. Painstakingly I will explain why I cannot buy what she wants. Like it is not in the budget, we are in for the hard times, every reason I can think of then leave things at that. After some time she will approach me and her brothers saying sorry for the misbehavior. She had been like that until she reached high school. The good thing though is, she mellows through the years. She was already in her second year in high school when she started to realize that throwing tantrums will never get her what she wants, thus she learned to ask kindly if she needs something. I believe that we have to be firm in our decisions in order that our children will understand that they will not get everything they want but, everything they need that their parents can provide.
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
19 Mar 07
I think you're making a good point. Consistancy, consistancy, consistncy,LOL! Sometimes I think kids try to wear us down to see if we will give in and if we don't it will get the point across hopefully. Sounds like it worked just fine for you. Way to hang in there.
• United States
6 Mar 07
Not me. I wouldn't allow my kid to manipulate me that way. If I say "no" and he doesn't listen and starts to throw a tantrum, I will just leave the store. Doesn't matter if I've not gotten all the stuff I need. I don't want to subject other shoppers to my kid's tantrum and I don't want to give in to my kid just so I can finish my shopping. I think he needs to learn from a young age that he cannot have everything he wants. He tried this tactic a few times with me but when he sees that it doesn't get him anywhere, he gave up. Kids are smart. They know when something works and when it doesn't. He doesn't throw tantrums anymore when he doesn't get his way. I tell him No and he listens. And he's two. I don't know why people talk about the "terrible twos" all the time. I think they only turn "terrible" cos' the parents allow the behaviour to continue and not nip it in the bud when the kids are much younger.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
My daughter never had that "terrible twos" thing either. And yes, I agree that kids ae extremely smart when they're trying to find out what works when it cames to attention and getting what they want.
• United States
6 Mar 07
I never had this problem with my daughter. So many people were very shocked to see how she reacted to no. Well,I taught my daughter that no! means no! the very first time you hear it. Not the second or the third time. This was taught to her while teaching her to read and write her name and numbers. My daughter never had the terrible 2's I hear so much about. Maybe she had the terrible 9 or 10. LOL. She is 12 Now and I have a hard time with her wanting to follow the crowd. I am working on this as well. If I said no to candy or chips not a problem at all. I also taught her that no doesn't mean I don't have the money. It could just be we can't afford it at this time. This I had to do so she would not see money in my purse and think she couldn't have some.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I'm a little nervous too about when she gets to that age and wants to fit in. I'll have to keep my fingers crossed,LOL!
@milagre (1272)
• Portugal
6 Mar 07
My boy has just 2 yrs old, and im already having a hard time in saying "no". My daughter was not like that and im rising them the same way. Also, if you pay attention in this kind of situations in shoppings, normally the ones that scream to get something are boys. I think it might be something related with the "Y" cromossom :D. Im trying to find a way to say no to my boy without having him crying and screming for it! do you have a formula?
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I wish I did have a secret formula sometimes when it comes to parenting,LOL! It seems like alot of things with parenting are trial and error.
@charms88 (7540)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
Saying "NO" to my girls is used to be the hardest thing for me. But I realized that this is not the proper discipline for them. I talked with my girls telling them about the value of money and what are the necessary things to buy. My youngest easily grasped the what I'm telling her. While my eldest took about 6 months before finally understand the word "NO." If she will have her tantrum, she never show it to the public. If she will sulk, I let her sulk.
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I agree that once a child is old enough to learn the value of $$$ that it helps with them asing for things you tell them you can't afford.
• Malaysia
6 Mar 07
Kids are very good at manipulating parents who do not stick to what they say. When we say no to our kids we must mean it and not give in to them no matter what they do to persuade us to change our mind. I've a 6 year old boy and believe me kids can wear us out by their constant tantrums if we are not firm with them.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Yup! Tantrums are exhausting.
@iyamapa (259)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
kids of your own is really irresistable... but do try to consolate the things that are happening. try to reflect on it's advantage and diadvatages if you dont try to say no... it will give an impact in the future. it will be much pratical if you start being a good mom and a "no" person but take not of its limitations
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I agree. Kids need to hear "yes" once in awhile too.
@switlyf (649)
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
yes i do...but now i that she can understand things i explain why she cant have all the things that she wants..
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
It's nice when hey get to that age isn't it?
• Philippines
6 Mar 07
I have a 5 yr old girl and her dad spoils her, but sometimes if she ask me of the things she want and ill tell her no that ends with arguing w my husband. Its always a hard time to say no when i know her dad will let her do what she likes or what she do.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
That's hard when both parents don't agree. It happens here once in a great while too.
• United States
6 Mar 07
I have no problem saying no to my nephews. I dont have my daughter with me so I have to use my nephews for example. When I take them with me to the store, before we get out the car, I tell them the rules inside the store, if any of them break the rules, we will leave even I have to come back to store later. I get them one candy for each at the cash register if they behave good, my nephews do pretty good for me.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I think it's harder for me to say "no" to my 5 yr. old nephew but I think that's because I don't see him that often. When I say no to him it makes me feel kinda bad.
@Demonix (294)
• Canada
6 Mar 07
I dont have kids, but I have helped friends, and sometimes girlfriends at the time raise kids, and I have found that they do tend to be manipulative little..... anyways, I do find it hard to say no to kids, but when there are times when we cant afford it I find I can reason with them as to why we cant get what they want, which avoids a scene and they tend to be more patient in getting their way, and they dont ask for it again until the next time we go grocery shopping or at the department store lol
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
LOL! I like how you started your response.
• United States
6 Mar 07
My kids never act like that when we are in public and I would be mortified if they did. There was just one time when my oldest was 4 that she had a full out tantrum in a store. We were at Toys r Us getting a gift for her little sister's birthday. I told her before we left and when we go to the store that we were there for her sister and that she was not getting anything for herself. Well as we were getting ready to leave she found something she wanted and demanded I get it for her. When I said "no" she threw a fit and was kicking and screaming. It was the only time in the 6 1/2 years I have been a parent that I ever just dropped everything I had and walked out of the store (carrying her kicking and screaming the whole way). I had to go back the next day to get the gifts for my 2 year old. My kids will ask to get stuff and I will say no. they usually leave it at that. Sometimes they will ask a few times. Rarely they will get whiny and when they do I threaten to take something else away (like a treat I was already buying or something they were going to have at home) and that quiets them. They never whine and throw fits in line because they want every candy (we never buy any for them). And every time we are in a store we go through the toy aisle and they never have tantrums wanting something. I was at K-mart once and this kid was screaming so loud that he wanted some toy that you could hear him anywhere in the store. It went on for 15 minutes--him screaming at the top of his lungs. I had a headache by the time the parents made their way to the toy aisle (where I was getting birthday gifts for my son). They finally told him they would get him a less expensive toy if he would be quiet. he shut right up until they showed him the toy (something that was like a $1) and the tantrum started again until they agreed to buy him a $10 toy. $10 just to shut the kid up. he looked like he was about 5 or 6.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Wow! Great response and story about the Kmart thing. Thanks for your thoughts.
@villageanne (8553)
• United States
6 Mar 07
When our kids were small, they were not allowed to ask for anything in the store. If they did ask for something, they wre immediately taken to the car to sit until the grocery shopping was done. They learned from the start to not ask and we did not have any trouble with them. My Mother in law and Father in law made the comment one day that they had to make the kids pick out something at the store. The kids told them that they were not allowed to ask for anything. I hate to see a kid cutting a shine in the store for something. Just by them acting up, it shows that they are not concerned about the consequences of their actions
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I remember my parents doing that with me and my brother when I was young.
@Michele21 (3094)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I feel guilty when I tell my kids "no"...I would love to be able to give them everything they want (but I know they would be spoiled brats). So I do say no even if we can afford whatever it is they want, I want them to understand that they cannot have everything at the store that looks good. I would die of embarassment if my kids acted the way the little boy that you described did, but I also know that I would not give in to them. I have gone through the store plenty of times with my little boy screaming (because he can't get out of the basket and walk though).
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I know what you mean about being embarrassed. My daaughter only pulleda tantrum once and I wanted to crawl under a rock, LOL. That was the last time she did that though.
@classy56 (2882)
• United States
5 Mar 07
wow i hate to see kids act like that in stores.i always think the need a good wooping or give them something to cry about.so i quess your daughter is lucky that you tell her no!.thats the way it should be,an you have to stick with it.an i see you are teaching your daughter good manners..i never gave into my kids.if i said no than they knew i meant it.but i quess i did give in a few times,thats because they didnt throw a fit.lol that was a reward.
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
You're right, I give my daughter something she asks for once in awhile because she's NOT having a tantrum too.
• United States
5 Mar 07
im a firm believer of the saying "no means no".I have to say no to my 8 yr old daughter all the time adn my 2 yr old son.If you give in once then they know they can make you break everytime.The most my daughter will ask me the same question is twice.If i have to say no twice she knows i get angry cuz i already said no the first time.I tell her all the time no matter how many times you ask me , my answer is not ganna change.
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
You have an 8 year old girl too? Mine asks twice once in a great while but she knows it won't change my answer.
@cher913 (25859)
• Canada
5 Mar 07
That mother is doing her child such a disservice by caving...no should mean no... Imagine what that boy will be like in 20 years...a hard day at the office and screaming and kicking because his boss said 'no'...it may seem a funny thought now but...
1 person likes this
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
I wonder if that's the problem with a few of the people I work with? LOL!
@thebestmom (1105)
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
I always say no to the kids. One of the reasons is I dont want them to be like what you said. One more reason is I have 3 kids. So if i gave in to 1 of them, I'll have to buy in three's. Sometimes, when they put something in the grocery basket I just return them to the rack when they are not looking
@dfinster (3535)
• United States
6 Mar 07
Pretty sneaky,LOL! I completely understand your point. If 1 behaving like tat was bad, I can't imagine having 3 behaving like that. It would be exhausting.