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"No" seems to be his favorite word - how do you get past it?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My 20 month old DS likes to say the word "no" quite often and a good question was raised this morning by his DCP how do I handle it - her asking me and I said that I most often ignore it and move on.  I know it's a phase but he seems to be more adament about saying it than his older brother did at his age.  He's much more "put your foot down" type attitude - definitely an extrovert. 

 

So, how do you handle the word "no" especially in a moment where it is a MUST that he/she listen to you?

post #2 of 11

DP and I are big fans of the "forced choice" instead of asking yes or no questions.

 

For example:

 

"Do you want peas or corn with your pasta?" (If DD doesn't choose, or just says "no", we say, OK, Mama will decide. That usually gets her to pick something.)

 

"Do you want to start bathtime now or in 5 minutes?" (If 5 minutes selected, we set a timer and say, when the timer goes off, it's time for bath).

 

"Do you want to wear tights or leggings?"

 

We try really hard to offer choices as much as possible, and have very few things that are "absolutes"..usually safety related, like "You have to hold hands with a grown up when we're in the parking lot." We also pick our battles carefully. We've had many battles over clothing choices, for example, but we've learned some tricks for getting dressed, like letting her wear whatever she wants at home, but choosing appropriate "outside" clothes that she changes into when we leave the house.

post #3 of 11

 

One tactic is to avoid a situation where he can simply say "no". 

 

For example, instead of "It's time to pick up your toys", or the even more problematic "Do you want to pick up your toys now?", try "I can help you clean up or you can do it alone". Save the negotiations for how something gets done, rather than whether to do it at all. 

 

 

 

 

post #4 of 11

20 months is pretty young, and I'd guess he doesn't quite have the words for what he'd like to say. 

 

Time to clean up.  NO!  I would reply, "No, thank you.  Not yet Mama!"  (to correct the rudeness, and encourage discussion).  Ds doesn't want to clean up.  He is still working on his building.  Okay, let's finish the building (or put it here to work on later, etc).  Allright.  Now we can cleanup and you can finish later."

post #5 of 11

Do you actually mind if he says no? Or do you mean how do you handle it when he refuses to do something you need him to do?

For us, I don't mind the word no. I think it is a clear word that gives people a sense of power.  I use it, dh uses it, and ds uses it. Ds is also 20 months.  He uses no a lot too- when he doesn't want things we are giving, etcetera. I also use it when I want to express no, and I feel that by having us both use it is has become a pretty clear way for us to communicate that need.

As for if he says no to things I need him to do- diaper change, getting him dressed, going in the car when we need to- I just figure out what we really need to do and don't let no stop me for those kinds of things. For changing his clothes sometimes I just have to hold him down and do it. For getting in the car I often offer him a food treat as we are getting in.

So in other words I see no as an empowering thing for both the parents and the child, but ultimately knowing that I am certainly not going to agree and respond to every no of his.  Only the ones that make sense.

I like to respect his right to say no to something when I can, but also to use my strength and wisdom as an adult to know when he needs to do something anyway. But I don't negotiate with him on it, or try to say too much of an explination- other than sometimes I say- I know you don't want to get dressed but we are getting dressed so we can go out, and then I just do it. By the time the 2 minutes of getting him dressed or whatever are up he is over it and happy with the next thing!

hth

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

Do you actually mind if he says no? Or do you mean how do you handle it when he refuses to do something you need him to do?

For us, I don't mind the word no. I think it is a clear word that gives people a sense of power.  I use it, dh uses it, and ds uses it. Ds is also 20 months.  He uses no a lot too- when he doesn't want things we are giving, etcetera. I also use it when I want to express no, and I feel that by having us both use it is has become a pretty clear way for us to communicate that need.

As for if he says no to things I need him to do- diaper change, getting him dressed, going in the car when we need to- I just figure out what we really need to do and don't let no stop me for those kinds of things. For changing his clothes sometimes I just have to hold him down and do it. For getting in the car I often offer him a food treat as we are getting in.

So in other words I see no as an empowering thing for both the parents and the child, but ultimately knowing that I am certainly not going to agree and respond to every no of his.  Only the ones that make sense.

I like to respect his right to say no to something when I can, but also to use my strength and wisdom as an adult to know when he needs to do something anyway. But I don't negotiate with him on it, or try to say too much of an explination- other than sometimes I say- I know you don't want to get dressed but we are getting dressed so we can go out, and then I just do it. By the time the 2 minutes of getting him dressed or whatever are up he is over it and happy with the next thing!

hth



I don't mind the word "no". I just don't think it has to be said for just about everything that I ask him.  I really think he is too smart for this and would do better 'discussing' options with DH or I instead of flat out just saying no.

I will give the "forced choice" a try and see if that helps.  And the trying to avoid those problematic situations where I know the word no will be said almost immediately!

Thanks, mamas!

post #7 of 11

lol.gif DS's answers to "do you want to do ___ or do you want to do ____" are usually "no." I'll either tell him "if you don't choose, mama will make the choice for you" (the answer to that is also "no." or I will try to make a point as to what the word "no" really means.

 

"Do you want to put this shirt(red) on, or do you want this shirt(blue)?"

 

"No."

 

"No? You don't want to wear the blue shirt? Ok, lets put the red shirt on then!"

 

(DS struggles because he really didn't want to wear ANY shirt, but too bad, cause we're going outside!)

 

If he can choose whether we/he go outside or not, I will give him that choice too. Sometimes his "no!" means, "I don't care for either of those choices, I want a different choice, or I would rather stay like this" (meaning, he's still playing, or he's doesn't want lunch yet, or he prefers to run around naked)

 

Also, sometimes at that age, saying "no" constantly isn't a response to a question, but just a really fun word to say. Say it a few times and you'll get what I'm saying. "No, no, no, no!"

 

I reread your OP. Definitely give choices when you can, since it might encourage him to listen at times when it is necessary to listen. But when my DS is adamant about NOT getting into the car/carseat or not holding my hand when we cross the street, etc. I analyze the situation. Do we need to leave right this instant? Can we take a break to calm down for a second? How bad will it be if we do what he is asking to do? Half the time, DS refuses to hold my hand in the parking lot, so I taught him that the cars come really fast (we stood on the curb and watched the cars go by) and we need to make sure that there aren't any coming. In the parking lot, he either holds my hand, I hold his hand(or keep my hand on his head), or I carry him. 

post #8 of 11

You could try letting him use "no" playfully and see if that helps, too.  We have a book with a dog chewing on a shoe and another with a cat scratching furniture, and my daughter loved to tell them "no!" over and over again.  Or once he's said no to a couple options, you could go through increasingly ridiculous options for him to veto, just because it's fun. We also sang a song that repeated the word "no" over and over in different tones.  I'd sing it if she started saying "no" a lot, too, to change the tone of the conversation.  For things that really needed to happen, like getting in the car seat sometimes, I tried to provide plenty of advance warning, briefly explain the reason we needed to do it, and then just do it, while still acknowledging that she'd said no and was feeling mad.

post #9 of 11

My ds had a BLAST with the word no.  Why?  It got a reaction out of me lol.gif  I didn't really do anything but wait for his vocabulary to grow (the No stage for us was around 15-18mo)

post #10 of 11

My daughter (just two) has been using "no" and repetition together.....no, no, no,no, no, no ect.  Mostly just playing, not really defiance, but it just one of those things that drives me crazy!   So we will ask her to pick a a new word, usually something that rhymes, right now it's cookie dough and eskimo and STRAWberry!  Or we play with rhyming phrases like: I have a boat that I must ROW, with a needle and thread I will SEW, I water my garden so it will GROW ect.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Works almost all the time and seems to move her off the no button and onto something else.

 

Sorry if this is disjointed, up with a cold.  :(

post #11 of 11

My daughter (just two) has been using "no" and repetition together.....no, no, no,no, no, no ect.  Mostly just playing, not really defiance, but it just one of those things that drives me crazy!   So we will ask her to pick a a new word, usually something that rhymes, right now it's cookie dough and eskimo and STRAWberry!  Or we play with rhyming phrases for her to complete, like: I have a boat that I must ROW, with a needle and thread I will SEW, I water my garden so it will GROW ect.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  Works almost all the time and seems to move her off the no button and onto something else.

 

Sorry if this is disjointed, up with a cold.  :(

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