too early to say "no - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-01-2010, 11:38 PM - Thread Starter
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What do you know if terms of parenting a 17month old? Am i supposed to be saying "no" to things like when she wants a bath not during bath time or giving her a "cookie." I have a hard time saying no because I accidentally said "cookie" and was the one who brought it up. Or... she saw me drawing a bath for myself and I forgot to hide the fact. Any advice? Or do I let her cry if distracting her from her object of affection doesn't work. Should I take a class? My instincts are failing me.

I also have to say I do let her do whatever she wants usually because she is such a nice baby and doesn't ask to do harmful things, even though it's hard to get her to sleep. What's an early bath once in a while? Is there such thing as too strict?
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#2 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 12:46 AM
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IMHO you should let her know that she can't have the cookie simply by saying NO. There might be parents here that see it differently but a 17 month old already starts testing you. They understand more than you think they do. DD is 17.5 mo and she understands a NO very well...she might not listen and try to do the same thing again (climbing on the chair or trying to touch a hot cup of coffee on the counter) but she does understand the meaning of the word.

There will be plenty of occasions in your DD life coming up where she will be told NO (be it in playgroups, socialicing with other kids during story time or daycare). For me - personally - it's part of laying down the rules and enforcing them. I have two kids and if I didn't say NO to them...there'd be mayhem in my house.

Just my two cents.

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#3 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 01:00 AM
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My husband and I tell our 15 month old no all the time. I try to tell her yes too, like "No, you may not play with my cell phone. Yes, you may play with your blocks." We don't yell at her and we only tell her no when it's needed, like for safety or to keep her away from expensive things like computers, etc. At some point in your kid's like SOMEONE will tell them no, and it'd be a tragedy if it's when they are an adult, lol. Trust your mommy self!
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#4 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 01:35 AM
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I figure you pick your battles. If you don't want DD to have a cookie at that point or a bath right then, then it is fine to say no. If it doesn't bother you to give them a cookie or an earlier bath, then go for it.

I really see no reason not to let her take her bath when she wants. Does it matter to you if she has a bath at her normal time of 6pm or an earlier one at 3pm? If not then go for it. I personally don't find the need for a strict schedule in my life, DD and DS have baths when they ask. If they want one at 11am, sure why not? They hear no at other times, like if DS asks for an ice pop and he has already had a treat. Or when DD tries to get into something dangerous. If a strict schedule works for you that is great, if you don't have a problem being somewhat flexible, then go for an early bath if asked. I always find that it is best to pick your battles and if an earlier bath isn't causing problems for you or DD then go for it, if it is going to cause issues later in the evening then saying no is perfectly reasonable as well.

Sarah nak.gif married to DH Dan (August 2001) dh_malesling.GIF and Mommy to DS Desmond (April 2007) pinktongue.gif, DD Eloise (March 2009) hearts.gif and Sullivan (March 29, 2011) babyboy.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.giflactivist.gifcd.giffamilybed2.gif
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#5 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 05:36 PM
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i think there are two separate things here: saying "no" and parenting to your comfort level.

as far as saying no, it is definitely okay! i say no to my 11 month old all the time. for example, no we don't touch the heat vent. no, we don't play in the garbage can. no, we don't climb out of the tub while you're all wet. she totally understands because she'll crawl over the heat vent and look at me then proceed to shake her head no while stretching out her hand to touch said vent. the little stinker!!

you're the mama!!! if you want to give dd a "cookie" go for it! if you don't, then don't. if you want to give her an early bath, go for it! if you want to stick to the routine, go for it. that's the beauty of being the mama, you can decide how things are going to go. and it's okay to change your mind. one day you can say no to an early bath and you can say yes the next time. that's okay. sometimes i'll let dd2 have a sip of my soda and sometimes i don't. they'll survive!

all the best mama. some days are hard and we feel totally incompetent but everyone is learning together!

wife to dh, mama to dd1   june 2007, dd2 march 2009 and dd3 april 2011
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#6 of 6 Old 02-02-2010, 06:08 PM
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I don't think this is too young to say "no" to a child. Sure, it doesn't hurt to give her an extra bath or an extra cookie, but it's also fine to start balancing your needs (and even desires) with hers. If you never "gave in" to her requests I think that would be too strict, but if you always drop everything to give her the bath, the cookie, or whatever, that's not going to foster a healthy attitude in the long run.

If she cries when she doesn't get her way, I would offer comfort, but not give in and give her what she wants if I've already said no. I know when my kids were babies, I always responded ASAP to their crying - I couldn't stand to hear them cry. It's hard to transition from that attitude (which I think is appropriate for a baby) to a toddler-appropriate attitude. Toddlers cry for different reasons than babies - if a toddler is crying because they didn't get their way or because they're frustrated that they can't do something, sometimes all you can do is to let them cry. Be there if she needs you, be loving, but learn not to overreact to crying.
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