It’s not surprising that one of the first words you often hear out of your toddler’s mouth is NO. We use it all the time… ‘No, don’t touch that’, ‘No, that’s hot’, ‘No, you can’t play with that’…
Previously we talked about the importance of saying No to your toddler; but No is used soooo often that it can be very frustrating to an independent child.
It’s like a punch to the gut every time, which causes them to be angry, frustrated, cry or throw a tantrum!
Toddlers have a strong need to make their own decisions, in many cases you can use an alternative to the word No while still providing the same answer.
Here are a few examples:
Question: ‘Can I have a cookie?’
Answer: ‘Yes, after lunch’
Question: ‘Can I go outside to play?’
Answer: ‘After it stops raining’
Question: ‘Can I watch TV?’
Answer: ‘As soon as your room is clean’
In most cases these answers will difuse the situation because your toddler WILL get what they’ve asked for, and these answers make it very clear what is expected of them before your child will get what they want. If they continue to ask you just remind them of yo ur previous answer.
Find an alternative to the word No so that when you do say no they know you mean it.
And REMEMBER – it is a lot harder to fight a ‘Yes, later’.