Things I say no as a parent of a toddler

30 things I say “no” to as a parent of a toddler

Does anyone else feel like they are constantly saying “NO” all the time to their child when they ask a question or wants to do something? I do. I feel like I say “NO” every minute when my daughter is awake. It’s ridiculous. I’m pretty sure that she is testing me. Some of the things are really stupid, whilst some of the things are to protect her or are for her own safety.

I do think I say “NO” far too many times, and I need to change the way I say it, plus cut down on its usage. But, it’s so easy to say that word. Turning it into a positive, rather than a negative. Or using the powers of toddler negotiation to the best of my advantage. I can’t say “yes” to everything, but I can’t say “no” to everything either. It feels like I can’t win.

So here are 30 things that I say “NO” to as a parent of a toddler.

  • No. You can’t have chocolate buttons for breakfast.
  • No. You can’t watch Peppa Pig for the 100th time today.
  • No. Don’t go upstairs.
  • No. It’s bedtime.
  • No. We’re not going to Little Fishes, you’re going to nursery today.
  • No. You can’t have the iPad whilst you eat your dinner.
  • No. Don’t draw on my books.
  • No. We’re leaving the house from the front door, not the back door.
  • No. You can’t go to nursery on your bike we’re going in your buggy.
  • No. You’re going in your buggy whether you like it or not. Sorry, not sorry.
  • No. You can’t wear your crocs to nursery, it’s freezing outside.
  • No. You’re not doing painting now.
  • No. Please don’t touch the furniture with your hands covered in paint.
  • No. Please don’t flood the bathroom with all the toys in the sink.
  • No. Don’t draw on the furniture.
  • No. You can’t wear all 13 pairs of Peppa Pig pants.
  • No. Please don’t take all the wet clothes off the dryer.
  • No. You can’t have the shower on whilst you have a bath.
  • No. You can’t take your elephant money box to bed with you.
  • No. Please put your nappy and trousers on.
  • No. You can’t wear your old wellies to nursery they’re too small for you.
  • No. Please stop, this is a road.
  • No. We can’t have ice cream before lunch.
  • No. You can’t have my phone to watch Mr Tumble.
  • No. Please don’t touch anything.
  • No. You can’t have a present today.
  • No. You can’t have Rice Krispies for dinner.
  • No. Please help Mummy tidy up your toys.
  • No. I know you want to see Daddy, but he’s at work now, he’ll be back later.
  • No. Please don’t sit on the pavement.

So there you have it. The list is endless and I could keep going forever. What’s clear from this list is that I can definitely strip out the word “no” and explain to my toddler what she can’t do and why she can’t do it. Hopefully that will help, and then I’ll be less inclined to use the word “NO”.

Does anyone else feel like they are saying “NO” all the time?

Claire x

Are you guilty of saying no to your child all the time



  • Glasstire

    As a mobility disabled person i can feel for you wholeheartedly. I hope you are now fully recovered and do not get a repeat. You explained the difficulties we face every day very well. Add to that the number of places without level access or no indication of a ramp being available, scarcity of accessible loos, heavy fire doors that are not automatic, bus drivers who ignore us at bus stops, the list is endless but it is improving. A real help would be an indication of accessibility at events. If I am visiting friends we have to check the venue is accessible with loos and catering, plus good accessible travel facilities. Believe it or not, some train companies will not take a mobility scooter although it is a travel scooter the same size as a quadraplegic’s and can be dismantled into four parts if necessary but still refuse. We have a way to go. However most people are very generous. I have had people help me off buses and lift the scooter off when the ramp has failed, people helping with my tray in eateries, opening doors etc. However. And this is a really big HOWEVER. Baby buggy users. Very very few will remove the (often toddler sized) child from the buggy to fold it so I can get the bus. Many will stare into space or just ignore the driver. Luckily in London the wait for the next isn’t normally long. Good luck on your recovery and hope it is speedy. And thanks to all the helpful people who have assisted me to get to the places You have mentioned.

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