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Why Isn’t NO Good Enough?

In our house the word NO for some reason doesn’t mean NO and I am not totally sure why that is.  My kids hear the word No but insist on asking the same question again minutes later thinking the answer is going to be different.

Example: Last night Shaun asked to play Xbox 360 and Melinda told him No because he played Wii for about an hour earlier in the evening.  It couldn’t have been a minute later and he asked the same thing again.  Then maybe five minutes passed before asking again.  At this point I was pissed and I told him if he kept it up he wasn’t going to get dessert.  Melinda and I ran to Wawa for coffee and I needed gas in my car.  When we got back from Wawa can you believe Shaun asked to play Xbox 360 again and this time I flew off the deep end and sent him to bed.

Maybe I was a bit extreme in sending him to bed an hour early but in a 30 minute period he asked to play Xbox 360 four times when he already knew the answer was No.  I hate when we tell the kids No to something and they disregard our answer and ask again.  I feel like it is total disrepect for us as parents.

I don’t tell my kids No for no reason or just to be mean. Believe it or not we usually have a good reason for telling them No.  Also, this post focused on something Shaun did but believe me Shae does the same crap often as well. I am only pointing out Shaun because it just happened and is fresh in my mind.

My hope is some day my kids understand No really means No and not to ask the same thing minutes later.  I am sure I am dreaming but I need something to look forward to don’t I?


  1. Rob if you can figure out how to get them to understand that no means all means share this with me! From our 15 year old down to little three year old Davis…it’s like they do not comprehend that word. I am like you..that is disrespect. When I was growing up and I was told. was was plain and simple. I don’t think it was harsh sending him to bed. They have to learn..or at least we want them to learn.

    BTW..Davis does the same thing when it comes to his video games. That one is the hardest to get him to understand no on.

    • If I ever do I will be sure to share but don’t hold your breath. HAHA. My kids have a hard time with NO when it comes to everything. LOL.

  2. If I tell my 15 year old grandson no to something, he asks “Why.” Since when do we owe them an explanation at that age? No is No, where I come from. Asking Why would have gotten me in big trouble.
    I don’t think sending him to bed was out of line either. Maybe I am old fashioned.

  3. april yedinak says

    This is what worked in my house. I was driven nuts by this behavior when they were little, so one day I sat them down and told them that from then on, when they were told no that was final. If they asked again, there would be consequences. For instance, if they asked to play a game again, then they would lose that privilege for a week. I did have to enforce it a few times in the beginning, but now 6 years later, there isn’t any of that nagging. Good Luck.

    • I am a sucker and find it soooo hard to take anything away from my kids for a week. LOL. I might need to start holding my ground though.

  4. Yes, please…
    if you figure out how to let them know that NO means NO…
    PLEASE share… this toddler here thinks it means maybe!

  5. My son used to do this and it drove me nuts. When he continued the game got unplugged and he wasn’t aloud to play the next day. Kids hear no so much with no repurcussions(I know you sent him to bed) so they just think oh whatever. Does that make sense? Anyways, try unplugging it next time, stick it up in the closet and not letting him play the next day. They understand those consequence a bit more because something they love actually got taken away. This worked with my son when he was about 6 and he has never again fought or disobeyed when we explain why he can’t play:) When you can figure out the 3 year old let me know, I’m still working on that (all we got is crying fits when we say no with our explanations)

  6. I wish no would be enough for my kids too. We get asked questions over and over again. I feel the same way and fly off the deep end all the time. Parenting is so hard. I have to actually threaten the kids with a punishment to get them to listen and I feel like such a bad guy. They know I’m going to follow through so they will usually listen, but I wish I could just say no, and not have to go “corporal” on them.

    I so feel for you, you’re not alone!!!

    • LOL. I agree. I hate to have to punish them just to get them to listen but my kids are so hard headed even punishment doesn’t work sometimes.

  7. I had 2 teenage daughters, one would ask once and that was it. The other would ask and would come back and ask again every 5 – 10 minutes until I would lose it, then she would wait 15 or 20 minutes and ask again. My wife always said it was my fault because I used to tell the girls figure out want you want in life and don’t let anyone dis-courage you. Well the oldest one did just that, she would not take no for an answer.

    • LOL. I never thought about it like that but I haven’t had that talk with my 7 and 3 yr old yet so I am figuring they are just being a pain. HA HA

  8. Are you sure you do not live in my house !!!!!! Please share if you find out the answer!

  9. Words my daughter doesn’t seem to hear:


    No amount of repetition, volume or emotion can produce the desired result. I’m starting to think my daughter LIKES time out, she misbehaves so often. Yeah, it’s unbelievably frustrating.

  10. No by itself isn’t a very good parent answer. LOL. I do think we need to explain things to kids so they understand where we are coming from. That said, you DID tell him why it was a no and that SHOULD have sufficed.

    Now, XBox is such a HUGE draw for kids, though, eh? Keeg knows he can play on non-school night, but every now and then he does ask during the week. And yah – he gets a “No – wait til Friday.”

    I am sure the kiddos will learn you are serious soon! They all have ways of pushing our buttons.

  11. In my house ‘no’ means ‘ i’m sorry, i heard you say ‘know’ not ‘no’ 🙂

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