It’s okay to say yes to your children. In fact, it’s more than okay. It’s important that you say yes as much as you reasonably can. But there will be times when we need to say no. It’s our job to say no when no needs to be said. We can be creative about how we say no so that we don’t actually have to say the word—but sometimes we do actually have to say the word no. Our children need us to be clear and direct with some things. It won’t hurt them to hear no—as long as we are already mostly saying yes as much is reasonable. It helps to have a reason for our no and to be prepared to share it and discuss it if the situation warrants it. It also helps to be confident about our role and responsibility to say no so that we aren’t shaky about saying no when we need to. Being a good parent is not just about keeping things pleasant and peaceful and conflict-worked-through and problem-solved as much as possible—it’s about owning the position we hold and using our “no” tool when it’s called for.