The “one-phrase” you need to get your kids to stop nagging you

What do you do when your kid’s nagging gets out of control?  They ask a question, you say no and yet they ask the same question five minutes later.

Kid nagging can get out of control.  This positive parenting discipline technique will stop your child from asking the same question over and over again.  A great idea for moms who feel tired and worn down by all the questions

I’ve been there.

Read: Does your kid ask the same question over and over again? Here’s your fix

It started on Saturday with gummies.

I was in the Fort Myers airport, 2 hours early for my flight when I walked past Dylan’s Candy Bar. Oooh… I hadn’t picked up something for my kids on a work trip in a while. Plus, I like candy, If I get gummies “for the kids” it meant that I could share.

Yes, this was an excellent idea.

I went into the store and grabbed a tiny paint can, filled it to the brim with assorted gummies, paid my 18 dollars (why is everything in this airport 18 dollars?) and left.

I planned to surprise them, but when I face-timed during my Atlanta layover, I couldn’t resist dangling the little paint can of gummies in front of my camera.

My kids’ eyes grew wide. They were so excited.  I was so excited. Gummies for all!!

5:30 AM: my son saunters into my bedroom, sidles up next to me in bed and asks, “Can I have some gummies?”

Nope. Funny you try to ask for them this early in the morning. In fact, hilarious, But no, No gummies for you. Nice try.

He didn’t stop.

“Ok, let me find the gummies.”

“No.  I said no.”

“Sorry, mama”

And then he goes to look for them again!

Now I get mad. My boy cannot take my no as an answer. He hangs his head and walks back to his room.

Poor kid. I hug him (I’m a sucker) and tell him that after breakfast, he and his sister can treat themselves to a few gummies.

1 hour later, “Mommy, can I have gummies.”

We need a better plan for kid nagging

What do you do when your kid asks you the same question over and over again?

Introducing, the one phrase you will use over and over again: “Asked and answered.” I first heard about this from my friend, Tasha, and I immediately fell in love with it.

The first time I used it with my kids, I explained what it meant:

“Buddy, you asked me that question already and I answered it. Asked and Answered.”

Then, I swiveled and walked away.

“Asked and answered.”

Oh, it works so well.

Another opportunity popped up later that day when my kids asked for fro-yo after dinner.

If you’re like me, your kids are probably able to wear you down.

The kids ask and ask and I get tired of saying no. My willpower wanes and I start asking myself, “Well, why am I really saying no? Is this something I should really say no to? Is it worth it?”

Chances are that you had a pretty good reason for saying no the first time you said it and now they’ve disintegrated your defenses to the point that you start to question your own reasoning.

I’ve been there. My kids are experts in this.

Instead, steel yourself against this phenomena by using the simple phrase: Asked and answered. It goes like this.

“Mom, can we have fro yo after dinner?”


Five minutes later..

“Wouldn’t it be great to have fro-yo for dinner, mama?

“Asked and Answered.”


“Asked and Answered”

“But mom….”

“Asked and Answered”

“Ughhhh…” Sigh of exasperation.


It can be one of the most satisfying phrases you use in your entire parenting day because your kids will no longer have the opportunity to wear you down.

Can you ask “Why?” to “Asked and Answered?” Not really. It’s just stating facts. They asked the question already and you answered it.

Common sense really,

My kids don’t like this phrase

However, they stop their line of rapid-fire questions when I use it.

A simple phrase where you don’t have to stumble for an explanation can be one of your most powerful parenting defenses.  Especially, when you’ve already given a perfectly acceptable reason for saying no.

JoAnn Crohn

CEO/Founder at No Guilt Mom
JoAnn Crohn, M. Ed is a parenting educator and life coach who helps moms feel confident in raising empowered, self-sufficient kid while pursuing their own goals & passions.

She’s an accomplished writer, author, podcast host of the No Guilt Mom podcast, and speaker who appears in national media. Work with her personally in Balance VIP

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  1. This is such a great parenting hack! I feel like one of the most important parts of parenting is making sure your kids take you seriously by meaning what you say. Every time you say no and then change your mind after they nag you for awhile, you’re teaching them that your ‘no’ doesn’t actually hold any value. They learn that nagging is the way to get what they want, so they do it more!

    Having predetermined responses like this to shut them down is fantastic.

    Here’s another one I’ve been using:

    My daughter is at the “why” phase. She says why 14 trillion times a day. On one level I’m thankful for her curiosity and desire to learn, but it drives me bonkers. What I’ve been doing lately is instead of trying to come up with an answer for 3 or 4 why questions in a row, I flip it back around to her. I ask her “why do you think?”

    It encourages her to think about her question and try to think of an answer herself, and she usually stops asking why! Total sanity saver.

  2. lol!! love it. ” your most powerful parenting defenses” parenting is like a battle field sometimes isn’t it? I need to try “asked and answered” Great post.

  3. I’m “Gram” to my granddaughters and their friends.
    I love this.
    Just as good for parents, grandparents, babysitters and teachers.
    Thanks, can’t wait to use it.


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