Teaching the word "No"... ? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-15-2010, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Haven't been on in a while. Been so busy with baby!

Annie is 10mo (tomorrow) and mobile as heck! She walks a little (12 steps is her max on unassisted, still crawls because it's faster) and is getting into EVERYTHING.

We have done some baby-proofing here and there, but so far my experiance is telling me that your house is never totally baby-proof.

We started to try out "No." to keep her from things she shouldn't mess with.

At first nothing. Then, in a week or 2 she started to stop, and examine our faces when we said, "No." If we smiled, she would continue, if we frowned she would stop right away, or try one more time tenatively. Say no again, and she'd stop, and move onto something else.

I thought all was going great- what a smart child I have! Then the past week things went another route.

Now she only listens if her father says no sternly, I have to raise my voice (which I don't want to do). And most of the time, "no" is met with tears. The same kind she cries when she thinks one of us is leaving her behind.

I recently read that till somewhere after the age of 2, most kids cannot tell the difference between themselves and their actions- so they might think you are unhappy with THEM, not what they did.

I don't want her to think we are unhappy with her- but I don't want to send mixed signals either. [Telling her no, she cries, then I give her a hug- seems a bit crazy]

Should I be hugging her when she cries? We're consistent with the "No"s, she isn't allowed to pull things off tables, or go behind certain furniture. These are the usual culprits. Other than a few things that are off limits, she gets to do whatever she wants... She is certainly too young for time-outs, or explanations.

What would/did you do?

Blarg, blarg-blargity- BLARG!!!

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#2 of 6 Old 05-15-2010, 10:00 PM
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At that age I didn't use the word no personally. If for no other reason that it is ineffective. The best advice I have for you is redirect, redirect, redirect! Its hard work and takes tons of energy but is very worth it. Babies are so small yet and want to explore everything! The curiosity is beautiful (and frustrating at times, I know) and healthy. They are just getting to know the world outside the womb and all that curiosity leads to great imagination, understanding and innovation later in life! Of course, if you have a determined little babe like me, she will inevitably become frustrated by attempts to redirect her at some point but then you can just comfort her when she is upset and the mood will and frustration will quickly pass while you interest her in something else. Walking outside always helps us a ton if nothing else works, just change the environment for a bit. Hope this helps.
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#3 of 6 Old 05-15-2010, 10:39 PM
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I tried not to use the word 'no' at that age and still try not to now, but it slips out far too often. I usually do give hugs if DS starts crying over something like that. I just tell him I know he is upset/frustrated/etc... I did this kind of talking, even at 10months. "I understand you are upset, but those outlets are not to be played with. Only mama and daddy can touch those. You may play with this toy." I don't think giving an upset baby/child a hug is going to do any harm as far as teaching what is allowed and isn't.

Mama to three

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#4 of 6 Old 05-15-2010, 11:52 PM
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I think if you wait to use the word "no" until your child is 2yo, you're going to have much bigger problems by then! The best approach is to definitely say Yes as much as possible..try to avoid set ups for conflict as much as you can by creating a child-friendly household, etc (I'm not saying fully baby-proof everything! Just maybe put things up high that you really don't want them ever touching, stuff like that. Some things are easily avoidable.).

It seems that a big misunderstanding of democratic/gentle styles of parenting is that that means you should never say no. Kids need boundries. Does that mean you need to have a punative, authoritarian approach? Not at all! But they need consistant boundries to feel secure. Try to look at developmental reasons for certain behaviors (reading about child development is incredibly worthwhile), give them areas to play & explore, try to redirect, ignore the small stuff (choose your battles!), & when necessary, say no when you really mean it & it needs to be said (the less often you say it, the more impact it will have when you do).

I don't think you should ever withdraw physical affection to teach a lesson about behavior.

mama to 2 busy boys (may 2007 & december 2008)
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#5 of 6 Old 05-16-2010, 12:17 AM
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If DD is doing something she shouldn't, like grabbing daddy's glasses... we will say "No, Anna... you do not grab daddy's glasses. He needs them to see." She might be 10 months, but we're getting ourselves into the habit of explaining why she can't do something instead of just saying NO and have it be end all.

Growing up... DH' mother always said NO. And the reasons were Just Because or Because I Said So. NO took on a nagging quality and was soon put on the ignore list for all the kids. Mom said NO... who cares? Do what you want anyways... she says NO to everything anyways.

Growing up for me... my parents always explained why after a no. And no's were few and far between so we respected them. They always had a good reason and we always knew and understood that reason.

Slightly dysfunctional mommy to DD (07/09), step mom to DS (04/11) and loving wife to DH (12/16).
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#6 of 6 Old 05-16-2010, 03:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the advice.

I think I'll be doing a combo of these things- try some redirecting, put even more things away (OMG, I can't wait till I can decorate again without worry of things she will try to eat!), and in some cases, just say no.

I'm still a little concerned I am sending her mixed signals by firmly saying no, then giving her a hug when she cries- but I'll try to couple it with explanations (we have done this from time to time). Who knows, maybe she understand more than I give her credit for? I -have- been saying "Thank you" when I take things from her, and she is starting to just hand things over now...

But yes, redirect! I try it on occasion, but I think I'll turn that one up a notch till she starts understanding a little more that no means no, not "I'm mad at you."

Blarg, blarg-blargity- BLARG!!!

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