Teacher Says Kids Today Act Like They've 'Never Heard The Word No Before'

Behavior problems for students seem to only be getting worse.

frustrated teacher in the midst of students walking down the hallway PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock

It’s no secret that kids nowadays are not the most well-behaved. Teachers often complain that their students are just different in some way. Whether it’s the effects of the pandemic, the result of new parenting styles, or something else, it remains to be seen.

Regardless of the causes, students are clearly struggling with attitudes and behavior now. Some teachers think it’s become a significant issue recently because they’re not used to being told “no.”


One teacher shared her experience with a student who didn’t react well to being told ‘no.’

An anonymous teacher shared her strange encounter with a student who wasn’t even in her class on Reddit.

“I had this girl walk into my class today and sit down next to her friend,” she explained. “I immediately went up to her and asked her if she needed help with something, and she said, ‘No, I just have a free block, so I’m going to sit in here,’ and essentially dismissed me.”

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“So I said, ‘No, I need you to go somewhere else,’” the teacher recounted. “The look of complete shock and annoyance on her face when I didn’t just roll over was insane.”

After arguing for a few minutes, the teacher said the girl showed blatant disrespect. “Then, right in front of me, she started exchanging looks with her friend that basically said, ‘Who does she think she is?’”



To make matters worse, the teacher discovered that the student had lied to her. “I had heard her name in passing before, and when I had a moment, I looked her up, and lo and behold, she did have a class that period!” she said.


Unfortunately, all that this teacher has seen has soured her feelings toward her job. “This is my first year in the classroom, and I’m not sure if I’m surprised by the behaviors anymore,” she said.

A lack of familiarity with the word ‘no’ is indeed a problem for children.

Marriage and family therapist Lori Freson spoke to Huff Post on the topic of telling your kids "no."

“News flash: Kids need you to say ‘no,’” she stated. “Children are not emotionally or developmentally equipped to make major decisions or rules or to self-regulate. That’s your job. And if you don’t do it, your child will feel a sense of confusion and internal chaos, which could manifest itself in stomachaches, headaches, tantrums, and even ulcers.”



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Huff Post also said, “A constant stream of ‘yes’ can easily lead to you raising a spoiled child, which is damaging both financially and psychologically.”

Although it can be difficult to tell children “no,” it’s the best thing you can do for them. It will serve them much better throughout their lives than the effects of always hearing “yes” will.

This teacher was far from alone in feeling this way.

Many other teachers chimed in with their own experiences of children not reacting well to hearing “no,” or” or simply acting disrespectful in general. 

“Entitlement,” one said, giving the reason as to why they believe kids act in such a way. “There are kids who believe the rules don’t apply to them and can get away with anything.”




Another teacher pointed out that this behavior starts at a young age. “I have second graders who clearly are used to being able to beg or cry until a ‘no’ becomes a ‘yes’ at home… Unless their parents change tactics at home (not likely), then they’re going to end up pushing that boundary with every new relationship and probably acting like this student when they’re older,” they said.

While it’s important to show your kids love and give them what you can, it’s equally important to make sure they’re used to hearing the word “no.” Without ensuring that your child is used to this, you’re setting them up for great hardships in life.


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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news, and human interest topics.