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Posted by on Mar 22, 2015 in Featured, Life | 12 comments

Guest Post: The Art of Saying No

Guest Post: The Art of Saying No

 This week I’m delighted to bring you a guest post from my friend and fellow blogger Kate, of KateTakes5. Kate writes lots more pearls of wisdom about parenting, fitness and lifestyle at Kate Takes 5. Or you can follow her on Twitter or Facebook. Or you could just read a book instead. 


I was in a shop at the weekend with my sister and our daughters buying provisions for the Sunday roast.


‘And can we just get these biscuits too?’ asked her 12 year old.




‘Please, they’re really yum. Ginger. Lovely. Honestly.’




‘Oh come on, please, just one packet?’


‘I said no’


‘Pleeeeaaase. I won’t ask for anything else..’


‘Oh ok then’


Of course I knew from the very start of this that she was going to fold eventually. It’s not that she is particularly weak, or that her daughter is particularly persuasive. It was that innocent little ‘um..’ at the start of the conversation that I knew the girl would pounce on like a tramp on chips. It was a school boy error on my sisters part. Didn’t she know these things?


Perhaps not. So I decided to note down my Top 6 red flags in the art of saying no.


– Never pause before your no. Any millisecond of hesitation will bring with it hours of pester power.


– Like ‘um..’, any language fillers used as a pause for thought will be seen as a sign of weakness and they will go in for the kill.


– Do not reply back with a question. Queries such as ‘When did you have them before?’ ‘Are you going to buy them with your own money?’ will not help. Whatever the question is it will be seen as an opening to continue the harassment and you will lose.


– ‘I don’t think so’. Not good enough. A firm and forceful ‘NO!’, preferably shouted whilst invading the personal space of their face is required.


–         ‘We’ll see’. A favourite of mine for some time until I said it to the six year old one day when he persistently asked for ice cream just before dinner. A moment later I heard him whisper to his sister ‘she’s going to give it to us’. Hmmm.


–         Puppy dog eyes – don’t be fooled.




I’m sure I’ve missed tonnes of other lapses in concentration that see our wallets invaded and our pockets picked. Do let me know. Together we can share the knowledge and stamp out this atrocity.


  1. You should never back down after saying no – if you let them win once, they’ve got you! But the puppy dog eyes really hard (I’m hopeless at it other peoples children – always much tougher on my own!)
    Mary Keynko recently posted..Sir Ranulph Fiennes and the Marathon des SablesMy Profile

  2. Amy is usually fab when I say “No” in shops. In fact, I mostly say “Maybe next time” and she’s just fine with it, but it’s at home where she’s really questioning it and trying her luck. Must remember some of these tips x
    Carolin recently posted..Washi tape Easter cards – with templateMy Profile

  3. My boy is now a teenager and I STILL haven’t learned…..
    In fairness I inherited the ‘We’ll see’ from my mother!

  4. I don’t think you should give in once you agree to say yes, that’s it they will pull you in and Saying no will always turn into a yes which is them getting what they want when it’s not a necessity

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