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Saying no to a 13 mo old to stop a behavior

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Is it a bad idea to say no to a 13 mo old when he is doing something he shouldn't be doing? Does he even understand at that age? Is it too early to teach him that?

I usually say, "no, no, no" and redirect him. If he has his mind set on something though, it usually doesn't work. So, I don't know if I should be consistent so that he eventually understands or if there is a better way...
post #2 of 20
It usually works slightly better to tell them what they can do, rather than what they can't. I'm sure that's already your intention, since you're redirecting him, but I'd back it up with those words, instead of just "no". "No" really isn't very informative at all - it doesn't tell them what they should do. Nothing works all the time, though - especially if you have a headstrong little one. They just have to be redirected over and over and over and over and...lol Good luck with the little one. That is a really fun age!
post #3 of 20
no help. Just curious on replies. I found myself today saying NO, just because it's an instinct. I absolutely know that my 10mo DS has no clue; especially b/c I responded, he smiled, and did it again.

13 months still seems at the same age. Can you distract him still with you getting on the floor and pulling him away from said object?
post #4 of 20
They also do not have enough impulse control to actually stop what they are doing (or about to do). Physically redirect/distract and verbally tell them what you want them TO do.
post #5 of 20
I think they do understand more than we give them credit for at that age, but still, telling what TO do works much better. "Rocks are not for eating, rocks are for throwing" "Food is not for throwing, food is for eating" etc... At least that type of teaching worked well with my son and still does (he's 17 months now).
post #6 of 20
My daughter is twelve months old and she has known what "no" means for several months now even though it hardly ever comes up. I just have zero expectation that it will cause my daughter to cease her desired activity for more than two seconds. I don't think she has the impulse control to not get in to something fun when it is right in front of her. So I use "no" mostly to get her to pause for the brief moment it takes me to get to her and remove the used diaper/filthy shoe/stick from her mouth.
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by mckittre View Post
I think they do understand more than we give them credit for at that age, but still, telling what TO do works much better. "Rocks are not for eating, rocks are for throwing" "Food is not for throwing, food is for eating" etc... At least that type of teaching worked well with my son and still does (he's 17 months now).
Personally I don't think there's a question about them understanding us. It's pretty clear to me that they do! But that doesn't mean that they have the impulse control to be able to listen to a "no" without having something they're redirected to do.
post #8 of 20
When DD was that age, I'd say (in a pleasant voice) "No, no, that bug spray is not for Dorothy. Here's something that is for Dorothy." And offer her the other thing. Or "no, no, those stairs at Nana's house are just for grown-ups to climb, here's a toy for Dorothy to play with downstairs." Etc. I don't think "no" is an inherently bad word, you just don't want to get in the habit of barking out negative statements to a little person, or have unreasonable expectations of their being able to control themselves even if they understand the word.
post #9 of 20
I'm going to chime in and agree with the posters above. My 16 month old does best when you explain what he should be doing, not what he shouldn't!
post #10 of 20
my 16 month definately understands... she screams at me and run away with the thing she shouldnt have... shes also worked out that mama at 35 weeks pregnant cannot get to her if she hides under the table
post #11 of 20
Our 8 month old dd likes to say "uh-UHhhhh! uh-uhhhhh!" when she is mad or doesn't like something; we didn't teach her this, it was a spontaneous vocalization like "mamamamama" and she always says it when voicing her dislike. I got the bright idea to say it with the same inflection to her when she's smacking one of the 3 non babyproofable items in the house. She seems to totally get it. Not to say she doesn't go back 10 minutes later to again smack said item, but she does seem to connect "uh-UH" with stopping what she's doing.
post #12 of 20
Nope, not a bad idea, but I agree, it is better if you tell them something they can do too. With hair pulling for example, I tell my girl, "No pulling, be gentle." or just "Be gentle." and gently take her hand and show her how to gently touch the hair instead. My DD is only 7.5 months, so I don't think she is really getting it yet, but I figure I will start now and then when she is getting it, I'll already be in the habit.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by CassnBeth View Post
My daughter is twelve months old and she has known what "no" means for several months now even though it hardly ever comes up. I just have zero expectation that it will cause my daughter to cease her desired activity for more than two seconds. I don't think she has the impulse control to not get in to something fun when it is right in front of her. So I use "no" mostly to get her to pause for the brief moment it takes me to get to her and remove the used diaper/filthy shoe/stick from her mouth.
same here. i say "no" or "please don't do that" only to get dd (also 12 mo) to pause until i can get to her and physically redirect her. though even that doesn't work much. she's super headstrong, so i usually have to take her from the room to get whatever she's into out of sight. i think she understands completely; she just has zero impulse control.
post #14 of 20
I can't seem to shake my former dog-trainer ways. I reserve "no" for both the dogs and the baby for BIG things, things that are immediately dangerous, things that will absolutely hurt them. I've used "no" (really, it's "NO!!!"- it's meant to startle and interrupt, and to let them know that I AM REALLY SERIOUS RIGHT NOW) once with V- she was crawling around and I had thoughtlessly left the cord of the cold, unplugged iron dangling, and she was headed for it. The loud, scary "NO!" is meant to stop her (or the dogs) in her tracks until I can physically redirect. For me, "NO!" is an extension of my hand- when I can't grab them, my voice does.

For minor annoyances, like getting on the couch (dogs) or trying to rip my hair out (baby) I use "eh-eh" or "uh-uh," just a little grunt of gentle reproach, then redirection.

It kills me when people chant "no, no, no, no," to either their dogs OR children without actually *doing* anything to stop the unwanted behavior. IMO, a hey-cut-that-out word or noise should ALWAYS be followed by physical redirection, otherwise it doesn't *mean* anything. Overusing any word dilutes the meaning, so I think it's very valuable to reserve certain words for very important times. (I also only use "Come" with the dogs when I know they'll obey it; otherwise I whistle or use a variation of noises, so if they blow me off, they haven't weakened my one go-to-in-an-emergency recall command.)
post #15 of 20
I say "no" to DD, even though she's just 9 months, when she's about to get into something she shouldn't (like poking the paper lamp shade) or if she's near something that could be dangerous (like an extention cord or the edge of the bed--although I'm right next to her and there's no way she could hurt herself).

For me, it does two things: 1) I'm getting myself into the habit of disciplining her gently, by saying no and then showing her why, and then giving her something she can do. I see so many parents just let their kids run around dangerously, I don't want to end up like one of them. And 2) I want her to be accustomed to hearing me say "no" ( and yes, good girl, I love you, where's the cat?, and so on), because I"m pretty sure she's slowly catching on, and one day it will stick. Well, hopefully...
post #16 of 20
I love the suggestions. I have used "no" on occasion, but I have been trying to teach other words to my 9mo. I say hot with exaggerated face and hand gestures to both the stove and the electrical outlets. And lately he has been wanting to play outside, but spends so much time putting small rocks and leaves in his mouth (a little dirt eating I am fine with, but I worry about the stones and the plants), so I have been saying "yuck!" (sometimes adding, "we don't eat stones" etc) every time he tries to eat these. In only a couple days, he now says "uck" back and will (most of the time) not put whatever-it-is into his mouth.

His "uck" is pretty darn cute! But I realize I should start explaining more to him.
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by kismetbaby View Post
I have been saying "yuck!" (sometimes adding, "we don't eat stones" etc) every time he tries to eat these. In only a couple days, he now says "uck" back and will (most of the time) not put whatever-it-is into his mouth.
Lucky you! My 13 mo thinks it's funny to intentionally do stuff I've told her not to do. Eg when I say "Not in the mouth!" she gives me an evil little grin and puts the object back in her mouth with an exaggerated gesture while looking me right in the eye. She thinks "yuck" is hilarious.

I use 'NO!' a lot like ErinYay above, as a stopgap until redirection is possible. I have gentler degrees of 'no' for undesirable but nondangerous behaviors.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the input. Some great suggestions!

I have been accompanying the no's with redirecting my LO's behavior to a toy, etc., but it makes me feel more confident in how I am handling to hear how others handle similar issues.

I had just read somewhere about some negative connotations with saying "no" and couldn't recall where I had seen it or what I had read and what the alternatives were, so I thought I would pose the question. I think the gist of what I read had to do with redirecting their attention.

Thank you!
post #19 of 20
I'm just personally not a big fan of a straight-up "no." It just seems so meaningless! When I was nannying for a year old girl, I never said "no;" I would say, "Oh, it's safer to dance on the floor!" if she got up on the table, "We don't bite people, let's bite the pillow instead," when she bit me, etc. I hope to do the same for Cecilia as she gets older!

It's just one of my pet peeves, right up there with "good girl/boy" (implying that the child is only "good" when they behave in the way you want them to).
post #20 of 20
for something truly dangerous we use a stern "NO" (usually followed by "HOT", as the pellet stove seems to be his fave thing right now). we have a gate around it but he reaches thru to touch the handle. that response usually buys me enough time for him to stop touching whatever it is and me to get to him to redirect him to soemthing he can have. for the every day little stuff, i usually say "nono, not for aaron. this is for aaron" and give him one of his toys or something he can have.
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