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Whats wrong with "no!"? - Page 2

post #21 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dulce de leche View Post
Anothermama, it sounds like you expect these scheming, manipulative children to do the worst thing possible that they "can get away with".

nevermind.
post #22 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmama View Post
Personally, I don't use "no" a lot because, if I overuse it, it loses it's effectiveness when I DO need it, like in a safety related situation. Also, it's not very instructive in terms of teaching my dd what I WOULD like her to do.



Just wanted to add that I totally disagree with this. It's not shaming to tell a child that their behavior is wrong/bad/inappropriate/unacceptable, but it IS shaming to tell a child that HE/SHE is wrong or bad. IMO, it's our job as parents to guide (discipline) our children into adulthood and interpreting our culture's norms for them in a gentle way is the best way to do it.
I agree...........I was reading a phych study a while back about how we naturally develop a concept of personal shame..........I think that as long as it's not imposed by another, it's not necessarily a bad thing. It's how we learn from our actions.....if we feel a healthy amount of guilt or shame from our actions, we usually naturally learn not to do them again, right?
post #23 of 125
Not much, in & of itself. My issue is - as has been brought out - it loses it's *shock* value when overused & I think it's CRUCIAL to have a word that gets IMMEDIATE attention in a real emergency. When I scream "NO!" my kids stop & listen immediately, they know I'm yelling over something worth stopping to listen to.
post #24 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama View Post
I think that in the toddler years in particular, there will always be slip ups. It's their nature. They will often act before thinking and thats ok, but I don't think it's helping them to just go on as if their actions have no negative consequences. My son got to a point where if he pushed or hit he'd immediately look at me, because he knew it was a no no. Actually, now, my son is to the point where if he hits or pushes, I just say his name, and he cries because he knows he's going to not be able to play with his friends.
What if he can't see you? What if he knows you aren't watching? Then what does he do? Cry? Or do the wheels start turning about what he can get away with next?
post #25 of 125
After carefully reading your post it seems to me that you have more of a problem with people who seemingly don't discipline than with people who don't use the word no. I try not to tell my girls no but that doesn't mean that I let them hit me either. I also don't always use a sweet, doting voice. If they hit me I use an assertive voice to tell them that hitting hurts and then as a pp said give them alternatives to hitting. The latter part is the reason to figure out why they are hitting. I don't try to keep my dc from feeling bad about/owning their actions. I do help them cope with those feelings, make amends for their actions and sometimes remove themselves from the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama
I think that in the toddler years in particular, there will always be slip ups. It's their nature. They will often act before thinking and thats ok, but I don't think it's helping them to just go on as if their actions have no negative consequences. My son got to a point where if he pushed or hit he'd immediately look at me, because he knew it was a no no. Actually, now, my son is to the point where if he hits or pushes, I just say his name, and he cries because he knows he's going to not be able to play with his friends.
I think there is a difference between letting them feel negative consequences for their actions and imposing illogical consequences for their actions.
post #26 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama View Post
I don't buy that one bit. I run a daycare with toddlers, and you know what? They all know what "no" means. They all know when I say "Don't hit your friend" that they need to stop. I think toddlers are more clever than we think. When I see parents avoiding no, I see toddlers little wheels turning, knowing they are going to get away with whatever they want to do.
Then why not say "Stop!" It's clearer, and it's a more direct way of teaching what you want a child to do.

Or take another situation: Say your child is climbing on the back of the couch about to stand up and you say "No!" (a perfectly reasonable thing for me to say because behind our couch is a plate glass window and I don't want to see my 3 year old fall through it), that gets her attention, but it doesn't tell her what I need her to do to keep her safe. "No, get down from the back of the couch" or "no, sit on the couch".

I don't avoid 'no' at all costs, that's silly. It's a perfectly good and useful word of the language. But, I do limit it so when I say it, my kids know that I am really trying to get their attention.

When my kids were toddlers, if they asked to watch TV at a time when it wasn't possible or if they wanted marshmallows 5 minutes before dinner, I could sometimes avoid a major meltdown by saying "Let's do that after dinner!" "No" simply made them cry. Now that they're 3 and 6, they understand that "after dinner" means "no" and they'll complain. But they can usually make it through. And they trust that when I say "after dinner" I will do it after dinner.

I think there's a difference between avoiding "no" and not disciplining a child. When my kids hit, I tried first to say "gentle, gentle" and help them be gentle with their hands so they understood. Thankfully, I didn't have kids who hit a lot. But when they were tempted to, "Gentle!" was much more effective than "no" because they knew exactly what I was talking about. If they still hit, I stood up and said "I don't like to hold you/be with you when you hit me." They have gone up to their rooms when they are out of control.

But, I don't assume that shouting "no!" at them is going to teach them to do what's appropriate. I need to demonstrate that, apply that and be with them while they learn.
post #27 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama View Post
I think that in the toddler years in particular, there will always be slip ups. It's their nature. They will often act before thinking and thats ok, but I don't think it's helping them to just go on as if their actions have no negative consequences. My son got to a point where if he pushed or hit he'd immediately look at me, because he knew it was a no no. Actually, now, my son is to the point where if he hits or pushes, I just say his name, and he cries because he knows he's going to not be able to play with his friends.
This is where I have a hard time with mainstream discipline. My goal of disciplining my children is to get them to do 3 things:

1. Understand how their actions affect others.
2. Think their way through a series of potential actions.
3. Be sorry when they slip up - acknowledge the mistake, fix it, and prevent it in the future.

Saying "no" does not afford my children these lessons. Which gives more information:
That hurts!
or
No! ?

Giving them the information they need gives them the tools to use next time. Discipline is a progressive thing.

I have a hard time with mainstream discipline, like you just demonstrated, because the child is not responsible for his own actions - the parent is. If you were not around to enforce the rules, the lesson of right from wrong isn't there. How his actions affect others, replacement actions.....those lessons are missing. It's also fear based, and learning how to do right should not stem from a fear of doing wrong. It's disconnected, and the child doesn't learn how to be sorry. Maybe he'd learn how to say the word, but the actions that truly make up being sorry are still the parent's, not the child's.

I do not agree with being singsongy and happy all the time for the same reason. One of the first rules my children learn is your rights end where mine begin. I don't give up the right to be safe and respected simply because the interaction is with a child. I don't need to take being hit or hurt from a 4yo. I am calm, I state the problem, state the fix (in the early years, less as they get more creative), and follow through. That hurts! followed by removing the child from my lap and keeping my distance until I'm calm enough again - you need to touch me gently, like this. Good! or when you're angry, you can show me like this (make sign for 'angry'.)

If we focus on the tools, the need for the word 'no' cuts down dramatically. The need for external discipline also drops.
post #28 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsAprilMay View Post
Young children have a hard time understanding negative words. I remember an ECE professor in college telling me that when you say to a young child "Don't run" they actually hear "Do run."
I'm not sure I buy that either. Kids do have a hard time with negatives, but "Don't run" is a pretty simple directive. Unless they have a language disorder, they're likely to be able to understand don't by 18-20 months.

I think a more reasonable explanation is that by saying "don't run" you don't give them anything else to think about. They're still thinking about running. If, instead, you say "walk!" then they can think about walking.

Or take yourself as an example. If a you're talking to a friend in a restaurant, and they say "Don't look over your shoulder, but...." what's your first instinct? To look over your shoulder! But, if were looking over your shoulder and your friend said "Hey, look up there!" You'd look up there.
post #29 of 125
Oh, and I wanted to add:
I'd also argue that the parents who want you to avoid "no" but who using "don't" or other negatives are really just playing with semantics - "don't" is as negative as "no" is. And maybe not as useful.
post #30 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I'm not sure I buy that either. Kids do have a hard time with negatives, but "Don't run" is a pretty simple directive. Unless they have a language disorder, they're likely to be able to understand don't by 18-20 months.

I think a more reasonable explanation is that by saying "don't run" you don't give them anything else to think about. They're still thinking about running. If, instead, you say "walk!" then they can think about walking.

Or take yourself as an example. If a you're talking to a friend in a restaurant, and they say "Don't look over your shoulder, but...." what's your first instinct? To look over your shoulder! But, if were looking over your shoulder and your friend said "Hey, look up there!" You'd look up there.

I've studied a few different languages and this makes sense to me. When you're still trying to grasp the vocabulary, your brain will focus on what it last heard, in this case "run". The other words are less important and 'run' becomes what the sentence is about. It takes another 20 seconds or so for the rest of the sentence to be processed in a young child. I like the grammatical structure of ASL and how the word order is different depending on what's most important - teacher, pay attention!- instead of pay attention to the teacher!

I agree, giving them the action to do is better than focusing on the negative.
post #31 of 125
We have to differentiate between a child's understanding of a word and their developmental need to separate and/or individuate. A child knows the 'meaning' of the word 'no' long before he/she gains the ability to put self in the place of other, and until then, mama or daddy will have to step in, on occasion to protect the rights of others.
laoxinat
post #32 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
I think it's hard for most young children to separate their behavior from themselves. An older child, yes, they can understand that they are not made entirely of what they do. But a two year old? I don't think so. You tell them, "Hitting is bad!" I think they're going to hear, "You are bad!"
ITA. Little kids don't process that stuff well.

Also, there is a HUGE difference between:

"NO! Do not throw toys!"

and

"It's not nice to throw toys, even if you are really mad. Somebody can get hurt. Let's let Katie have a turn with the toy first, and when she is done, it can be your turn..." and so on.

But if you jump to that knee-jerk "No! Bad! Wrong!" reaction, there is a really good chance that you're going to end up with a really upset, ashamed little kid, and that will ruin your chances of having an actual productive conversation in the matter. Especially if you have a sensitive kid who interprets: "hitting is bad" = "you are bad" = "I don't like you!"

ETA: There is nothing wrong with saying no and setting boundaries, and I do believe that it is very important to set boundaries. I just think that you have to be very careful about how you do it.
post #33 of 125
I'm with you, anothermama, I don't think there is a thing wrong with 'no,' and I have seen GD turned into over-passivity waaaaay too much!
post #34 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by anothermama View Post
They will often act before thinking and thats ok, but I don't think it's helping them to just go on as if their actions have no negative consequences. My son got to a point where if he pushed or hit he'd immediately look at me, because he knew it was a no no. Actually, now, my son is to the point where if he hits or pushes, I just say his name, and he cries because he knows he's going to not be able to play with his friends.
ah, I think I see where you're coming from- are you saying that they need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to do certain things? Perhaps I'm misreading it though.

That could be the big difference in our opinions. I don't think that kids need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to hit. I think that my ds did learn that there were negative consequences when he hit- and that negative consequence was that I didn't like it. But there were never any consequences imposed on him.
He did learn very quickly not to hit (ie, a few times hitting over a few days, max). I didn't want to teach him that hitting has negative consequences, I wanted to teach him what to do instead of hitting to express himself and get his needs met.

On the same note, the grabbing toys is improving quickly too. When two other kids are fighting over the same toy, I hear ds trying to give them information, and trying to find a solution.

eta- just wanted to say again that I'm agreeing with you that there's nothing wrong with saying "no."
post #35 of 125
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
I think a more reasonable explanation is that by saying "don't run" you don't give them anything else to think about. They're still thinking about running. If, instead, you say "walk!" then they can think about walking.

Or take yourself as an example. If a you're talking to a friend in a restaurant, and they say "Don't look over your shoulder, but...." what's your first instinct? To look over your shoulder! But, if were looking over your shoulder and your friend said "Hey, look up there!" You'd look up there.
exactly. Don't think of a pink elephant...
post #36 of 125
I think a good, firm "no" has it's place - like if someone is about to get hurt. I prefer to say "stop" instead, though. Ex - "Stop hitting me." I also agree that whatever words you do use shouldn't be "sing- songy".
post #37 of 125
There is a time and a place for "no." But there are reasons to limit its use too.

We don't use "no" with our infants, for example, because we just don't feel it serves a purpose. Infants haven't yet developed impulse control and so commanding them "no!" doesn't make much sense IMO. We prefer re-direction in a positive, encouraging manner. So if, for instance, one of my babes was hitting me, I'd probably grab her hand and show her gentle touch rather than just saying "no."

Also, we really want to encourage exploration and we like to create as positive an environment for this as possible. Studies show that kids who get their hands slapped exhibit less curiosity. I think overuse of "no" and "stop" and "don't", etc. can have the same stifling effect.

With older kids, we do use "no" at times but we try not to overuse it because it can lose its emphasis and because overuse can create a lot of negativity. If possible, we prefer to show our kids what TO do rather than what NOT to do. Our goal is to gently and respectfully guide and teach our children. So no, "no" is not always bad or wrong, but if overused or used in place of active teaching, I do think it does more harm than good.
post #38 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by natensarah View Post
What if he can't see you? What if he knows you aren't watching? Then what does he do? Cry? Or do the wheels start turning about what he can get away with next?
I'm always watching..............mwahahahahahaha

Ok, seriously, I just don't really leave him unsupervised with other kids his age......I mean, he's only 3. Is that weird?

He can be super sneaky when he's alone, but at least he's not hurting anyone else.
post #39 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabear&babybear View Post
After carefully reading your post it seems to me that you have more of a problem with people who seemingly don't discipline than with people who don't use the word no. I try not to tell my girls no but that doesn't mean that I let them hit me either. I also don't always use a sweet, doting voice. If they hit me I use an assertive voice to tell them that hitting hurts and then as a pp said give them alternatives to hitting. The latter part is the reason to figure out why they are hitting. I don't try to keep my dc from feeling bad about/owning their actions. I do help them cope with those feelings, make amends for their actions and sometimes remove themselves from the situation.


I think there is a difference between letting them feel negative consequences for their actions and imposing illogical consequences for their actions.
Well, you're right, but it often seems that all goes hand in hand..........

And I agree, I don't think illogical consequences help them learn a darn thing, but I think natural negative consequences can be a good thing. I don't think of it as a bad thing if my kid feels badly about what they did to someone else. And there seems to be this kind of running theme among moms I know who GD in that they don't EVER want to MAKE their kid feel badly, ykwim?
post #40 of 125
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deva33mommy View Post
ah, I think I see where you're coming from- are you saying that they need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to do certain things? Perhaps I'm misreading it though.

That could be the big difference in our opinions. I don't think that kids need to experience negative consequences in order to learn not to hit. I think that my ds did learn that there were negative consequences when he hit- and that negative consequence was that I didn't like it. But there were never any consequences imposed on him.
He did learn very quickly not to hit (ie, a few times hitting over a few days, max). I didn't want to teach him that hitting has negative consequences, I wanted to teach him what to do instead of hitting to express himself and get his needs met.

On the same note, the grabbing toys is improving quickly too. When two other kids are fighting over the same toy, I hear ds trying to give them information, and trying to find a solution.

eta- just wanted to say again that I'm agreeing with you that there's nothing wrong with saying "no."
I think maybe we're two sides of the same coin.......you said it yourself, your son learned there was a negative consequence to hitting you.

And that's all I mean.......it seems like there is a huge part of parents who GD, not just here but that I know IRL, who avoid letting their child experience ANYTHING negative at all in regards to their actions.......and if all their behavior results in positive attention, whats teaching them what is right and wrong??
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