14 answers

My 6 Year Old Will Not Take No for an Answer.

Hi everyone,

I'm sorry, but I am just SO frustrated right now. My 6 yr old does not take No for an answer. He will ask over and over and over again until I am so emotionally exhausted and my day is ruined. What can I do to make him understand that NO means NO?

Help!

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

When he asks the second time, reply "And what did I say?". Repeat as many times as he asks. The broken record trick works for us and I hope it works for you, too. Never, never give in.

More Answers

Them: "Moooooom, can I have a new toy?"
You: "No"
Them: "Puh-leeeeeeeaaaaassssseee"
You: "My answer is NO. My answer will not change. If you ask me again you will (pick your favorite:) lose a favorite toy, sit in your room for a time-out, do an extra chore around the house."
Them: "But I waaannnttt it!!!"
You: "OK, here is your -insert consequence- and make them do it."

A few times of this and they will get the idea no means no. And remember if you say no to something, never back down. Personally, it's why I try hard not to say "no", but in a minute, later or a set time when they can have XYZ. If they're asking for candy, treats, etc then pick a time when it's acceptable for you. The big one around our house is, I want candy!. So I say after lunch, not minute before. They know when/where it's OK and I'm not saying "no" when I want them to have some candy, just not right now. Make sense?

Remember, this time of year is great for: Are you being nice? Santa only brings toys to nice kids. :-)

3 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry you are frustrated. It's hard when you are pushed to your limit. In order to teach your son that NO means NO, you are going to have to prove it to him. You can't give in because then he'll continue to know that NO really means YES if he pushes you far enough. Have you heard of "Love and Logic"? I would HIGHLY recommend this book to you. There are great tips on how to deal with what you described. I use it with my son and it makes parenting MUCH less stressful. Good luck to you.

1 mom found this helpful

You might not believe how many of us have been (or are currently) in the same boat! Children are wonderful and frustrating at the same time. It's part of their job description.

I can look back with hindsight on this one because my children sometimes did it and it took me a long while to understand. The reason your child does not take no for an answer is because he knows your no doesn't necessarily mean "no." If he works on you long enough your "no" will (or may) turn to "yes." What a wonderful game! What a feeling of power! Why shouldn't he use the power you've let him have?

So the game will need to stop on both sides and, since you're the grownup, it needs to stop on your side first. What do you say "no" to? Do you really mean it? Think for a bit about how you respond. You say "yes" when you can, of course. If you really mean "maybe," then you need to say that. Save "no" for when it's really "no." And then stick to it. It's not always easy, of course, but know your ground and stand on it.

Once you've decided what deserves a "no," the rest of the game needs to stop. The details will be up to you. Your little one may ask you anything, but once you answer, that's it. Your yes means yes; your no means no; your maybe means maybe. If he persists, the consequence needs to be just unpleasant enough for the game not to be fun any more. No meanness, of course - but what would work at your house? Elimination of a television or game or other privilege for half an hour? It might mean adjusting your activities if you go to the park as a family and your high-pressure salesman has to stay home. But you may have to go with that for a while until he gets the idea.

Of course, you do all this with calmness and good humor. No lectures, no long explanations to ease your own feelings. His actions do have consequences, and maybe he'll remember next time, and you love him dearly.

You're a great mom! You know this can turn into a very serious matter and it's good to take care of it when he's six because it would be much harder if he were doing it at sixteen. Good for you for wanting to work on it now.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there,

I have a 6 year old also, and get this sometimes. Could he be asking over and over again because he finds if he asks you multiple times eventually you just give in? You always have to mean what you say. I know that sounds simple, but children know how to get what they want, and if in the past he has succeeded in asking 20 times, and on the 20th time you finally give and say "fine!", then he will keep asking.
I remind my son all of the time that I say what I mean, and my answer will not change, that usually stops the questioning.
Good luck!

Something I've taken to heart is the advice to think about something before saying no, so you're sure that your answer really is no! Sometimes I find myself saying no just because I'm tired of being asked for things all day, and I'm really not being fair.

It's much better to say "I'll think about it," or "Let me think about it for a minute," or "maybe" than to say yes or no right away, if you have even any hesitation about what you want to decide.

And when my kids start whining about my decision and start pestering me, I tell them what I expect of them. I tell them that I don't want to hear any more about it, that I've made my decision, and I won't be changing my mind. If they won't stop pestering, I tell them again that I don't want to hear about it, so if they want to complain, they're going to have to go to their rooms where I can't hear them. That usually gets them to stop, but if it doesn't, then I make sure they go to their room.

Your son will learn! Stick to your guns!

When he asks the second time, reply "And what did I say?". Repeat as many times as he asks. The broken record trick works for us and I hope it works for you, too. Never, never give in.

We totally lived with this one at 6 and still do sometimes -it mostly involved throwing a fit about not getting what he wanted and asking over and over again. He would even throw a fit if I said yes but it will have to be tomorrow! Big or little, it made me crazy. I completely understand your frustration.

Here's a couple of things we did with my son -

Outside of the "moment" we talked about how humans behave and how it's much easier to ask someone for something when they feel good about what they are going to do for you. If they feel pressured or pushed into something, they may do it but they won't feel good about it. If I feel angry or frustrated or worn out, the last thing I want to do is shell out $30 or spend all afternoon some place that I dont want to go.

We were very firm that fussing and nagging about a no answer means an automatic "NO". If it persisted, then he started losing privileges. I would usually make him choose either no TV, no computer, or no Bionicles for 24 hours. If he persisted then it went to choosing 2, then 3, then losing them for 48 hours, etc. Yes, it went that far and it was exhausting but it also felt good to stand my ground and stand up for myself.

As he got older and more able to discuss things rather than react, I was able to ask him questions like why it was so important to him and how he was planning on paying for it - he could use his allowance or he could earn the money doing extra chores to pay for it. If it was important enough that he wanted to save up and pay for it, then I gave it serious consideration.

I hope that helps you!!

NEver ever never EVER give in, and when he continuously keeps asking send him to his room or put him in time out ect. If he keeps asking it means he has learned that all he needs to do is wear you down and you will give in. Kids are manipulative - I can remember doing this to my poor mother because if you ardued with her enough about something her answer would change. She made parenting a LOT harder for herself because she would never stick to her guns and all 6 of us learned this very quickly. When you say no, MEAN no, and don't let them talk you out of what you have decided. Just make sure that you pick your battles wisely... don't say no before you have really thought about what he is asking, because if you say it and its unreasonable, it will be hard for you to follow thorugh with your "no" answer when your child starts telling you all the reasons thats not fair. Good luck! My best advice: Say no and stick to it, no matter what, and if your child keeps asking after you have already said no 2-3 times send him to his room for not respecting your answer.

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