Don’t Ask Twice


balls-712026_1280When my kids were younger, going to the grocery store with them could be such a struggle! Each of them in turn was bedazzled by some treat or toy that they caught a glimpse of and the begging would begin: “Can we buy those cookies?” . . . “I want ice cream!” . . . “We don’t have any juice, Mom!” . . . “We need a big ball!”.

It is hard enough to grocery shop on a budget surrounded by convenience foods, heavy advertising, coupons and more, but add begging kids and it put me over the top! I found myself aggravated and just making a blanket “no” to any and every thing they asked! That’s when I decided to adopt a “don’t ask twice” policy.

I taught my children that they could ask me one time for what they wanted, enabling them to express their desire or getting me to “look” at what they thought was so exciting. But not twice!

Asking once is fine, but if they were to ask twice, the answer was an automatic “no”. No discussion, no questions answered, just an automatic “no”. This took a while to teach them. I had to remind them, “please don’t ask twice or I can’t say yes”. I overheard the older ones tutoring the little ones: “Don’t ask twice or she’ll say no!”

But then—oh—what peace we had!

I was able to do my shopping and think clearly and make good decisions without being bombarded with pleading for this or that. I was able to reasonably consider and occasionally grant their desires. And it was extra fun to hear them squeal with delight when I steered my cart back to the aisle of their desire and asked them what color of a ball they’d like!



May I recommend:

Teaching Kids to Interrupt Politely

The King of Me

A House United

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