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Toddler says 'no' for both yes and no

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

So my ds2 is 20-months-old and is a late talker - he has about 5-6 words or sounds for specific things so far. (His brother had just one word at this age and a language explosion when he was 2 so I'm not particularly worried about it.) Of course, one of those words is 'no'! :) But he uses it for yes and no, which is really confusing!! Any suggestions on how to help him embrace the word 'yes'?!

 

THanks!

post #2 of 8

My DC also learned "no" first and it was important to me that she also learn "yes". Something about being positive and etc. smile.gif  What we did was just really emphasize the word "yes". So if she wanted to nurse I would say, "Boobie, yes? Yes? Boobie, yes?" and I'd wait a second for her to nod -- not too long, and not to the point of frustration at all but just a second or two. Eventually, "yes" became one of her favorite words. Actually, now I think "yes" may also mean "I want" but we'll deal with that later. 

 

I remember reading that it's totally developmental for them to do this, fyi -- just in case you were concerned. Something to do with over using words first in the process of learning words, which they then narrow down. 

 

Good luck! 

post #3 of 8
My 17 month old has done this for a while. She's flirting with stopping. She will say no and mean it and not say anything for yes. I handle it by emphasizing "yes", like pp has done. I'd ask "would you like some water?" she'd say "no" but reach for the cup. As I handed her the cup, I'd say "yes, you would like water. Yes!" it seems to be helping at least so far with making no mean no. She still does it sometimes but has moved on to practicing other sounds. She's doing a similar thing with "meow". If I ask her "what does the doggie say?", she will say "oof" but if we see a dog IRL(especially big dogs) then she always say "meow meow". lol
I think it's just the way they learn.... Every bird says "lidooooo" (her best impression of a rooster crowing). From what our dr said, at this stage the important thing is that they try to make the sounds. The details and meanings come later. Hth
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks! I do the same so far, saying yes to him when he means yes, but it doesn't seem to be helping much - guess I just need to be patient! :) He does something similar with animals - all animals are 'baa' and say 'oof' - but it's not frustrating for either of us in those cases! I'll try to be more patient, heh.

 

Cheers!
 

post #5 of 8

My son seemed to get it confused too when he first started talking.  He is speaking in short phrases now and doesn't confuse no with yes anymore.  He still confuses the word "juice" with "milk," but I try not to stress about it since part of it is memorization and constant repetition.  The more we practice saying things the better he gets at understanding how to correctly communicate with me in a way I understand too.

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdehoff-us View Post

My son seemed to get it confused too when he first started talking.  He is speaking in short phrases now and doesn't confuse no with yes anymore.  He still confuses the word "juice" with "milk," but I try not to stress about it since part of it is memorization and constant repetition.  The more we practice saying things the better he gets at understanding how to correctly communicate with me in a way I understand too.

 

I cant offer advice, but we are so there with the muddled words - one that springs to mind is 'feet' being always referred to as 'shoes' (so when I say lets go get your shoes he looks at me like im CRAZY, or when he stubbs his toe he says 'oww shoes!' It makes me smile, I dont correct to often because he just debates right back at me :)

post #7 of 8

It's really common and totally normal. :) One thing to do is teach your kids the signs for yes and no. They can differentiate that motion much earlier than they can differentiate the words. My kids have both been prolific signers long before 18 months. I LOVE SIGNING. We don't have a lot of tantrums because we can "talk" really early.

 

Signs: http://www.aslpro.com/

post #8 of 8

My DS is the same way, both in that he is limitedly verbal (21mo and maybe 10 or so words) and mixing up yes and no - except that he automatically says yes.  Or, rather, "uh-huh."  Ask if he wants something, like a drink, and he says uh-huh, then actually show him the cup, and he says no.  

 

I remember my nephew doing the same thing when he was about 2.  "Do you want another french fry?"  "NO!"  (hold up fry) "Do you want this french fry?"  "YES!"

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