As a Mom, I feel like the most over-used word in my vocabulary is "No" -- followed closely by "Don't." I get tired of hearing myself say them, so I can imagine how weary my daughter is of listening to them. I'm sure its true for teachers, too.
- You aren't the one saying "No." Even though [name your character] says the exact same thing you do about being sloppy, kids will believe him or her first.
- The kids don't hear "No." The listener or young reader is looking at what happens and thinking about what's going on. They are exploring the story by anticipating events or their consequences.
- Laughter can lighten the mood. Most of the time, these stories the events and consequences are exaggerated to make sure the lessons aren't missed.
Last but not least ... the kids feel superior to the character! That little ego boost might just help their self-esteem and confidence enough to "act on" the message. The other plus is that they empathize with the characters and can suggest ways to make things better.