5 Phrases That Will Instantly Make Your Kids Stop Begging

I was in the grocery store last week, listening to a multitude of beeps from scanners when a new sound caught my ears. It was a kid, a preschooler, whining and begging for one of those baby bottle suckers with the sugar inside. She wanted the cherry flavor.

“Mommy, can I have this?” the little girl asked.

“No, honey,” the mother smiled.

“But mom, I don’t have one.”

“We have plenty of sweets at home,” the mom reminded.

“But I don’t have this one.”

“I said no,” the mother replied while looking through an entertainment magazine.

With having no luck breaking her mother down with verbal whining, the little girl upped her ante. Her face turned red and words about unfairness and meanness erupted from her mouth.

And then her next strategy: crying.

In between her cries and words, she delivered gasps of air, purely for effect.

“Just put it in the cart,” the mom replied. “But you can’t have it until after dinner.”

“Can I just have one bite in the car?” the little girl asked.

“We’ll talk about it when we get in the car.”

The little girl’s tears turned to smiles within less than one minute of her setting eyes on what she wanted.

Now, I’m far from a perfect parent, but I cringed knowing what this mother had just traded. Basically her soul. She traded a nasty temper tantrum for a life of bargaining between her and her little sweet pea. And the sad thing is, it doesn’t have to be that way, nor should it.

I wanted to hand the mom a laminated card with these five fail-proof sayings burned into the paper. They’ve worked for me for years and remind me of chocolate. Every single one of them is good and I pick which “flavor” depending on my mood.

Next time your mini cross-examiner is giving you the run-down, take charge, be a mom, and above all, be consistent.

If you say no, you better mean it. By changing your mind, your child has gained more than a piece of candy; they’ve gained the knowledge you can be broken down easier than a cardboard box.

Here are 5 phrases that will instantly get your child to stop begging

1. “Asked and answered.”

This is the mother lode of all chocolates. Although I use the four below, I use this one 10 more times then I use anything else. Let’s replay the scenario from above.

Child: “Mommy, can I have this?”

Mother: “No, honey.”

Child: “But mom, I don’t have one.”

Mother: “Asked and answered.”

Child: “You never get me anything.”

Mother: “Asked and answered.”

If the child keeps at it, you become a robot, saying the same three most blissful words over and over and over again.

2. “I’m done discussing this.”

Child: “Can Ashlyn spend the night?”

Mother: “No, she just spent the night here last week.”

Child: “Please?”

Mother: “I’m not discussing this again.”

Child: “But …”

Then, from the mother, all action, no words. Smile pleasantly, tilt your head to the right, give the best devil eyes you can, and then simply walk away.

3. “This conversation is over.”

Child: “Can I ride my bike?”

Mother: “No, it’s raining outside.”

Child: “But I’ll wear my [raincoat] and it’s only sprinkling.”

Mother: “This conversation is over.”

Child: “But pleeeasssee?”

Mother: “Asked and answered.”

Become your usual robotic self. Remember, you’re a rock.

Heather Steiger
Heather Steiger
Elementary school teacher, writer, mother of three and wife. Graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Masters in Education. Author and Freelance Writer. Published in Guideposts, Yahoo Parenting, Fox News Magazine, CNN.com, Something Special Magazine, Psych Central, The Mighty, Scary Mommy, Popsugar, Blunt Moms, Simplemost, The Motherish, The Birth Center, and Taable Note. Also published in the magazine Every Little Thing From Birth and Beyond, She Knows, Your Tango and Lifehack.

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