One little word that could change your parenting for ever.

Forget every other parenting method you’ve ever heard of and just do this.

I consider myself a pretty decent parent. My children are fed, clothed, healthy and happy most days. They aren’t always clean, they don’t always eat their vegetables and sometimes they throw things at each other. But that’s kids being kids, right?

Except I can’t help but feel I could be doing better. I could feed them healthier foods, dress them more neatly, give them more multivitamins and have more fun with them. And you know what? Wanting to do better isn’t a bad thing. I strive to do better because I care.

That’s my way of explaining my obsession with reading up on ALL the latest and greatest parenting methods. I just love reading about them, researching them and attempting them. I will look into helicopter parenting, passive parenting and tiger parenting, all in the hope I can do a little bit better.

Of all the parenting methods out there, this is the one we should allow ourselves to fall back on.

Last night, while trying to put all three kids to bed and trying to deflect their bedtime-delaying tactics like requests for food, water, cuddles, kisses and different combinations of toys, I realised there's one parenting method I've been completely neglecting.

And all it requires is the use of one, little, word...


"No" is not a dirty word when it comes to parenting. We're told we need to explain everything to our kids, we need to find the feeling behind the behaviour and address that. It can be exhausting.

I'd like to thank Theresa Edwards from Mommyish for reminding me of this word and for penning the phrase "No" Parenting. She too has become overwhelmed by all the conflicting and overwhelming parenting methods. She writes:


Without help or guidance or a 50 billion page chapter book of woo masquerading as science with loosely defined psychological terms I had to just keep my kid alive, so I did. Instinctively.

Well, I did it wrong, obviously, but as I look back to see what kind of parenting style I might choose if I had to do it all over again, I am at a loss because none of them seem right for me.

That was until she remembered that useful little word, "no".

This morning when my son asked if he could have whipped cream for breakfast, instead of our 10-minute discussion about health, nutrition and "sometimes" foods I could have just said "no".

This morning when my daughter asked if she could wear a summer dress to preschool, instead of explaining the consequences of catching a chill and layering her in enough undergarments under her dress to keep her warm in a blizzard, I could have just said "no".

Now, you try it.

When your kids get home from school or ask for something dodgy that you sometimes allow them to do because you are too tired to explain why they really shouldn't do it, just say "no"

Through this, parents everywhere will reclaim our power.

By saying "no" more often, our children will quickly learn to pick their battles. They'll also lose their opportunity to argue, bargain and beg. A firm "no" does wonders. JUST SAY "NO"!

What do you think of "No" Parenting? Is there something to it? Do you say "no" to your kids?

If you need specific examples of why I feel so strongly about this parenting method, here are 11 examples of child behaviours you should definitely say 'no' to:

Like this? Try:

The 15 parenting skills you won't learn from any baby book.

The email all parents dread seeing in their inbox.