Does your child know how to say No – Do you? Practice what you preach!

How many of you moms find yourself saying “yes” to things you really don’t want to do…just to please people or to avoid conflict or disappointing someone? Oprah has spoken on this topic many times… how so many women say “yes” at the expense of what is in their best interest. We know this is not a good or healthy way to be..right? So if you the adult can’t seem to say “NO” how can you expect your children to say “NO” when it really matters??? You can’t… and for this reason we want you to take a serious look at this concept…so you can practice what you preach and model for your children how to say “NO” – so they make smart choices and stay safe.

Why are we writing this blog? We want your children to know that they have rights!! The right to say “NO”. Now you might be reading this and thinking to yourself, “My child knows how to say “NO” just fine, he/she says it to me all the time.” 🙂

But will they say “NO” when it really matters?

Will your child say “NO” to the stranger in the car that asks for help to find their lost puppy?

Will your child say “NO” to their friend that wants to post a mean comment about another girl on Facebook?

Will your child say “NO” to a family member they love and trust that tries to touch them in a way that makes them uncomfortable and confused?

Will your child say “NO” when asked by a friend to try a cigarette, alcohol, or other drugs?

· Will your child say “NO” to a friend that is making an unsafe choice?

· Will your child say “NO” when asked to get into a car with a driver they know has had too much to drink?

These are just some of the important times that our children need to know that they have the right to say “NO”. However, if we constantly model for our children that other people’s wants and needs are more important than our own, or that we want to avoid disappointing or having conflict with someone – then this is what our children will do. Children do what we do…not what we say. Keep this in the forefront of your mind when asked to do something that you don’t want to or are unable to do. Ask yourself – what am I modeling and teaching my children?

So how can you teach and model for your children to help them say “No” when it really matters?

Adult’s that you don’t know should not be asking children for help for any reason, they should be asking other adults for help. You have the right to not only say “NO!” but you don’t have to be polite and you can yell “NO!” Parents, if you are walking and a stranger pulls up to you ask you something and you are with your child use this as a teachable moment. Should you walk towards the car to have a conversation? NO! Model for your children taking 5 steps back away from the car. Explain to your child that as an adult you can choose to talk to this person or not. Say to your child what would be the safest choice if you were walking alone and this same person pulled up and asked you a question. Practice taking 5 steps back and yelling “NO!” and running to their safe adult.

Adults should not post anything negative online either – and role play with your child what to do when someone does post negative comments…do you stand by and say nothing? Practice what you preach.

When your family members want to hug or kiss your child – do you force your child to do it? When we force our children to hug or kiss an adult at the expense of their own feelings we are telling our children the wants and needs of the adult are more important than the wants and needs of the child…don’t do it!!! Talk to your child beforehand – tell them to be polite, say hello but that it is their body and they have the right to choose whether they want to give a hug or kiss – you will empower them (maybe make a premade card/give a high5/knuckle bump). If one of your relatives has a problem with it, talk to them privately and let them know you are teaching your child personal safety and would appreciate their understanding. Please keep in mind that 90% of the time a child is harmed it is by someone they know, love and trust…so to keep your child safe, empowered and assertive we can’t stress this point enough – tell your children their bodies belong to them and they can decide if they want to hug/kiss anyone. (our children’s book – My Body is Special and Belongs To ME! Will be out December 2010)

Communicate with your child and let them know that they can come to you with anything – without fear they will get into trouble. For preteens and teens it is so important that your child know they can always use you as an out. Show them how you can take your time to answer someone (that you do not always have to react immediately). Teach and practice with them some very easy ways to say “NO”.

  • “No, that’s not safe.”
  • “No, let’s go do something else.”
  • “No, I could get into trouble.”
  • “No, I don’t want to. Let’s do something else.”
  • “No, I don’t feel like getting grounded for the next month.” (Let them use you as an excuse.)

At the end of the day we all want the same thing….happy, safe, well adjusted, assertive, empowered children that will thrive in this world. Show them, model for them, practice with them so they can make the safest and smartest choices as they grow.


"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

To Top