A Story to Teach Kids How to Calmly Accept the Word No

teaching kids to accept no

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 than 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

(A Social Story About Calmly Responding to the Word No)

sound-of-no.png

________________________________________________________
.

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.

sound-of-no.png

_______________________________________________________________

When someone tells me “no” I can do some things to stay calm.

I can choose something else to do.

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.


I can take a break by:

walking away

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.


or by sitting down and taking deep breaths.

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.

I can say how I feel.

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.

__________________________________________________________________

When someone tells me no, I will keep my hands and feet to myself!

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.

I will be respectful and safe.

I cannot hurt myself or anyone else.

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.

I cannot destroy property.

I cannot scream or say mean things to anyone.

Circle the feelings you have when you can’t get what you want.

___________________________________________________________

Here are some examples of what I can do when someone says “No!” to me.
Example 1At Home:

“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
  • scream at anyone.

_____________________________________________________________________

Example 2At School:

“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!”

I can’t:

  • hurt myself or anyone else
  • destroy property
  • scream at anyone.

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.

Video Presentation

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.

Recommended Articles:
25 Privileges You Can Let Your Child Earn for Good Behavior
Top 5 Reasons for Behavior Problems in Kids
17 Ways to Get Your Kids to Listen to You and Show You Respect
15 Behavior Strategies to Help Children with Autism

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