If you have read my articles on positive behavior support, you know that I am not a big fan of simply using the word “no” when it comes to telling kids what they can’t have. Research and my own experiences show that telling kids what they can have instead, empathizing with their feelings, offering choices, and explaining the reason for things is much more effective that simply saying “No! Because I said so!”
Related Article: How to Prevent and Handle Temper Tantrums
The reality is however; that people will continue to say “No!” to kids and kids have to learn calm ways to handle the fact that they can’t have what they want.
This is why I wrote this interactive story: I Hate the Word “No!” The purpose of this story is to teach children coping skills they can use when they hear that dreaded word “No!”
You can view the story right on this page or print out a PDF version to read with your child.
I Hate the Word “No!”
Sometimes adults and other kids tell me “no!” They won’t give me what I want. I can’t control what others do but I can control what I do.
When I can’t have what I want, I feel:
Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.
When someone tells me “no” I can do some things to stay calm.
I can choose something else to do.
I can take a break by: walking away
or by sitting down and taking deep breaths.
I can say how I feel.
When someone tells me no, I will keep my hands and feet to myself!
I will be respectful and safe!
I cannot hurt myself or anyone else.
I cannot destroy property.
I cannot scream or say mean things to anyone.
Here are some examples of what I can do when someone says “No!” to me.
“I want that cupcake!” Mom says “No!”
I can ask for a piece of fruit, go listen to music, or say I feel frustrated because I really want that cupcake! I can’t hurt myself or anyone else, destroy property, or scream at anyone.
“I want to read that book about baseball!”
The teacher says, “No. Someone else took it from the library.”
I can pick another book, sit at my seat to calm down, or say “I’m upset that I can’t get that book! I love baseball!”
Print out a PDF version
After reading the story, your child may enjoy drawing a picture or writing down what they might do the next time they are told no!
You can make your own story by using real pictures of your child/family or pictures from Google Images.
Recommended Social Stories:
All About Going to School (to help a child prepare for the school day)
I Am Going to the Doctor (to help children prepare for doctor’s appointment; can be used with adults too; good for people with fear, anxiety, or resistance at check-ups)
I Am Going to the Dentist (to prepare children for dental appointments)
I Am Going to a Restaurant (to help children learn how to behave in a restaurant) Please bear with us-this story is currently in PDF view only but is in the process of conversion to mobile friendly view.
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Rachel Wise is a certified school psychologist and licensed behavior specialist with a Master’s Degree in Education. She is also the head author and CEO at educationandbehavior.com, a site for parents, caregivers, educators, counselors, and therapists to find effective, research-based strategies that work for children. Rachel has been working with individuals with academic and behavioral needs for over 20 years and has a passion for making a positive difference in the lives of children and the adults who support them. For Rachel’s top behavioral strategies all in one place, check out her book, Building Confidence and Improving Behavior in Children, a Guide for Parents and Teachers. If you want Rachel to write for your business, offer behavioral or academic consultation, or speak at your facility about research-based strategies that support children, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.