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Do you ever get tired of telling your child “No!”? “Heck Yes!” is my answer, and my guess is that you would express the same sentiment — or you would probably use the double hockey sticks in your expression. But not me, I’m a respectable, no-foul-language-using mom. Mmmhmm, that’s a fudgin’ joke.

You know what though, I suspect that our children are just as tired of hearing the word “no” as we are of saying it. So, to kill two birds with one stone and appease both parents and children, I have compiled a short, but extremely satisfactory list of 5 hilarious ways to tell your child “no”.

Here we go…

Instead of telling your child “No!”, try this:

1. Use a megaphone or a voice changing device (Target sells them for cheap in the $5 bins) and inform them to “cease and desist”. If they continue, then you continue. Follow them around and keep talking to them through the megaphone. They will either stop the behavior (because they will get tired of you following them around), or simply because they desire to use the megaphone…then you may be in trouble…but at least they will have stopped the initial behavior.

2. Tell them “No!”, but in another language — better yet, keep telling them “No!” in all of the languages that you can recall. Then continue speaking to them in another language. Confusion will cause them to stop whatever it was they weren’t supposed to be doing in the first place and stare at you in bewilderment.

3. Become a mime. Go mute on them. If you are a regular over-talker like myself, your child will be baffled by your decision to finally shut the fudge up. Stare at your child and their behavior disapprovingly. Stare at them, stare back at what they are doing, stare at them, stare back at what they are doing — repeat this several times. They should get the point.

4. Over-exaggerate your approval for what they are doing. You have to be super-dramatic here about your supposed approval, so that your child will understand the sarcasm behind it. Most children do not enjoy sarcasm and will quickly receive the hint that Mommy and Daddy are not fond of what is taking place.

5. Sing a song about your disapproval and keep on singing until they stop. They will either laugh (and stop the behavior) or they will stop, just to get you to stop singing.

And now, for how to handle your own child when he/she tells you “No!”:

1. Tell them “No!” back. Inform them that the next time they ask you for something (milk, a kiss, help with homework) that you will tell them “no” as well. There is a chance that your suggestion alone will warrant them to reverse their response, and if not I can almost guarantee that once you start to deny their requests, they will start to think twice about their “No’s” to you.

2. Don’t speak to them until they change their response (within reason). Okay, this one you can only implement at home if your child is being safe and is old enough, (let’s say over the age of 5). If they respond to your request for anything with a “No,” do not pay them attention for a bit. For a child over the age of 5, they will “get” that mom or dad is acting different and that something is “wrong” — this should hopefully instigate them to re-respond appropriately. If not, the lack of attention should suffice to initiate compliance.

3. Change their name to “No,” at least unofficially. Inform your child that they have used that word so much, that you have officially changed their name for them. They will get so tired of you referring to them as “No” that they will apologize and do you ask of them.

4. Have them run a lap around the house each time they tell you “no”. We will all have some super-fit kids running around.

5. Tell them you plan to show their friends your best dance moves next time they come around. Also, inform them that you will share with their friends that you both practice your dance moves at home together, and that you will invite their friends to come over and join. This will surely be met with a screaming “Nooooo,” but alternatively they will likely reverse their response to your original request of them.

These may not work to encourage the response that you as the parent favor, but they should at least have you all laughing. And to me, a family that laughs together is a family that’s doing things right, because the truth is, life is just better when you are laughing.

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