“No.” The most important word in parenting.

Times when “no” can be used:

(Photo courtesy of Angry Web)

  • “But Mom, everyone is going to the co-ed sleepover.” NO!
  • “I don’t wanna mow the lawn. Can I play video games?” NO! (And you can do the dishes now, too.)
  • “Dad! It’s just one D!” NO!
  • “But Mommy, I want to run around the restaurant.” NO!
  • “But I hate peas! I want ice cream!” NO! (Go hungry for a day and see if you won’t appreciate your peas.)
  • “I’m 16. Can’t you sign for me to get my tongue pierced?” NO!
  • “Dad! So what if the sign says, ‘no running?’ I want to.” NO!
  • “Gosh, Mom, I have no privacy. A 9-year-old needs a lock on her door.” NO!
  • “But Dad, if I had a tv in my room…” NO! (Go read a book.)
  • “I want cookies, and this toy, and this movie, and these skates, and this game system. I need them.” NO!
  • “This is so unfair! Everybody else’s parents buy them beer.” NO! (And it looks like you’re never hanging out with “everybody” ever again.)

Why should parents use the word no? Because if they don’t, their bratty little over-privileged children enter the world thinking they can do whatever they want: rules don’t apply to them, authority means nothing, consequences don’t exist.

Everyone has come across a person who has obviously rarely been told “no.” And I don’t think anyone wants to be responsible for that. Right?


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