This, from Becky Callahan, Broadview’s 3-5 Parent Educator

Positive Ways To Say “No”     
  • That’s not an option.
  • I am unwilling…
  • Say it in a funny way, i.e. “Never in a million trillion years!”
  • Sing, no, no, no!
  • That’s not appropriate.
  • I am not ready for you to do that yet. (Great for teens)
  • For a younger child, use distraction.
  • Ask, “What do you think you would need to do before I would be willing to say yes to that?”
  • Ask, “What do you think? Is this a good choice for you?” (If you choose this, make sure you are willing to abide by her answer)
  • For a youngster that has something you don’t want him to have say, “That’s not a toy.”
  • Ask, “What are your other options?”
  • No, but I would be willing to…
  • I appreciate your asking, however…
  • Walls are not for coloring. Here is a piece of paper.
  • Tell them what to do instead i.e., “Water needs to stay in the tub.”
  • This is not negotiable.
(Originally featured in our Summer 1998 Issue, Positive Parenting)