Content marketing: Telling Meaningful Stories

[CONTEXT] Oh no, kids are being told “no” more than “yes”

Christoph Trappe

February 21, 2016


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I’ve seen a number of studies and comments now on children hearing way more “no” from their parents (and others) than they hear “yes.”

This has often been shared as a sign that the parents are oh so not empowering their children. Bad, bad parents! Oh, please, but no. Ha. Maybe there’s truth to the numbers, but I wonder if the two words carry the same weight. 

For example, I have to say “no” repeatably to my kids for the same thing. When I say “yes” that’s usually that. No repeats needed. One-time use works with “yes.”

“Daddy, can I do/buy/download/watch ….”

“No because ….”



“Just briefly.” 


“Did you say yes?”


“OK, no means yes and no means yes. Which one is it?”

This can go on for a while. That last one is a trick question usually and no matter what parents answer the kid will hear “yes.”

In contrast: 

“Daddy, can I do/buy/download/watch ….”



End of discussion. 

Some “nos” are adding up quickly too. 

The other day the 2-year-old was heading for a temporarily uncovered outlet. 

“No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.” as I’m sprinting across the room to put the cover back on the outlet. 

So that was a bunch of “nos” counting against their childhood total right there. Oh no. I hope my kids can overcome the trauma. 

I’m all for empowering and encouraging my daughters and be successful at whatever they choose to be successful in. I’ll focus on that while somebody else is counting my “yeses” and “nos.”

Disclaimers: The information provided in articles is for informational purposes only and not personalized advice. It's accurate to the best of my knowledge at the time it's published. Enjoy and best of luck telling the best stories in your organization and life!

Christoph Trappe

Hello and thanks for stopping by. I’m Christoph Trappe.

I’ve written two books, speak at conferences around the globe and blog frequently on here. I love sharing my stories and helping organizations share theirs.

If you need help, just visit the Contact Me page in the navigation and drop me a note. I’m always happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!

– Christoph

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