The Balance of Yes’s and No’s

“Saying ‘no’ limits conversation and so if you say ‘no’ too often, your children may stop asking. Saying ‘no’ may become ineffective if overused, and it often leads to a power struggle.”

Saying ‘yes’, all the time, however, can prevent your children from learning discipline, respect, and boundaries. It can cause your life to go out of control because you keep doing things for your kids and promising them the world.

An out of control life will do more damage to the child’s life than not promising them every little thing. There will be other people in your child’s life that will say ‘no’ to them. It is important to say ‘no’ now so you can help them learn how to manage their emotions and be able to function when faced with failure. 

You don’t want to be the ‘yes’ parent, but you also don’t want to be the parent to always be saying ‘no’. You do need to know when to say each. Here are some benefits about each so you can use ‘no’ or ‘yes’ to accomplish what you are hoping to.



Prepares them for Future– “No teaches children important lessons — how to cope with disappointment, how to argue, how to strike a balance between work and play, time management and task prioritization — essential experiences that aren’t always taught in school. When children grow up learning these concepts, they are more likely to be successful in their academics, relationships, and later on, in their careers.”1

Time Management– It is great if your child wants to be involved in many different clubs and teams in school, but being spread too thin is never a good thing. Help your child realize that most things in life become more beneficial when you have time to focus on them rather than rushing on to the next thing. Being in five different sports teams and three academic teams may not be as fun as it sounds, and it may be impossible time wise. 


Saying ‘yes’ should happen more often than saying ‘no’. No can be a negative word and can tear down a child if heard too much. The goal is to use positive parenting and discipline so you can still say no sometimes, but in a way that will build up the child and help them understand your reasoning. “Instead of saying, “Stop yelling,” – you can say, “Use soft voices inside.” Rather than saying, “Don’t jump on the couch,” try saying, “You can jump on the floor.”3 This way you are eliminating the negativity and instead of focusing on it, you can focus on the positive and what they can do. 

This is also a great opportunity to teach and explain natural consequences. “Rather than saying, “Stop taking off your boots!” you could try, “I see you took your boots off again. It looks like you don’t want to go outside to play.”3 This way you are explaining their actions to help them understand the consequences.

There is no set number to how many ‘no’s’ and ‘yes’s’ you should say to your child, but the more you are able to use positive words when speaking with your child, the more understanding they will be. It will help them learn consequences and feel more valued. It may take some extra effort, but taking every opportunity to teach and explain your responses will help set your child up for success in the future. 


1.Admin. (2018, September 4). Are You Too Much of a Yes-Parent? Retrieved from

2.CarreroKara, K. (2019, April 10). How negative language impacts kids and why “no” should be limited. Retrieved from

3.Name. (2019, August 22). Positive Parenting: How to Say No Less (and Yes More Often). Retrieved from

4.The power of saying yes to kids. (2018, December 10). Retrieved from

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