What do you all think? Is now the time that I should start teaching no. What would you do?
The biggest problem I see with "no" is that it doesn't offer the child acceptable alternatives, so you can get into a spiral of "No, don't do that... no, don't do that either... no, stop that..." So I try to make sure that I'm combining most of my "no"s with other suggestions: "No food on the floor! Tell Mama you're all done." "No crayons in books - here's some paper." Or I'll give concrete explanations of what needs to happen, like "Clothes first, THEN outside."
I don't think that you need to actively "teach" no. He's going to hear it eventually in enough contexts through his natural exploration of the world. For anything non-life threatening, I would redirect, model a better behaviour, or remove him (or the problem, if possible) from the room for a bit.
He will see you as being on his side instead of in opposition to him if, for the most part, instead of telling him what NOT to do you're showing him what to do, and when he can't do something that he wants to because it is not safe, you are finding another way that is safer to do the same thing ("let's climb on these steps; the kitchen table isn't safe"). Also babyproofing everything so that you don't have to step in and thwart his natural inclinations to explore because he's found something unsafe.
Actually, you already sound like you know what to do
I think it helps to view developmental stages as being an important part of a child's growth, rather than something to avoid or nip in the bud. His behavior during his two's will have a lot to do with his own developmental needs, and when you get there, you'll find a way to love him and support him through that while maintaining your sanity.
we try to babyproof to the MAX so that there are few 'no don't touch' things in the house. we can't remove the oven, obviously, but the things that she can get to are 'yes' you can touch, handle, mouth, throw things!
she has started mimicking us. yesterday, when i was trying to put her hair in a ribbon, she started to fuss and shake her head NO! i think that teaching her no has helped her be assertive. she can tell me not to do something.
then, last night, she was in her father's arms (after a long 14 hrs at work) and i tried to take her from him so he could eat. she shook her head no and held onto daddy...i got the message!
i think you just have to find the right balance for each child, and state things in a manner that they can understand. natalie is advanced in her language abilities (she is lagging behind in motor skills) and we talk to her constantly. she also has older sibs to talk to her, so she 'gets' language.
Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and Amelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11
Don't worry about two yet, you still have a long time before you are there and two isn't all that bad there is a lot of limit testing and deciding to do their own thing and they need a lot of reminders and it seems bad but it is more draining than anything else.
"No" really is a quite hard to understand concept. It's the old pink elephant joke- What do you picture when you hear "Don't think of a pink elephant"? But if you hear "Think of a purple giraffe." then you're good to go (if your goal was to not think of a pink elephant). kwim?
Same with "don't eat the leaves" that gives you the picture in your head of "eat the leaves" and THEN not doing it.
I try to save any negatives for times when it really is the most accurate- I will say "Don't dribble juice on the couch" because I can't think of an accurate positive way to phrase exactly what I want- I don't care what he DOES, I care what he doesn't do. kwim? But even those negatives I will follow up with a list of possible positives- "you can dribble water in the bucket, you can drink your juice, etc" because positives are easier to follow through for a child.
Anyways, if you are not saying "no" all the time, I think you'd be LESS likely to have a toddler who says "no" constantly. And you are explaining, and teaching more, they learn more about how the world really works, which is really the important thing.
Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
i was using "leaves are for touching" instead of saying "not in your mouth", but i realized that this statement wasn't very helpful either. so instead i got down on the ground with her and played with the leaves with her, and when she made a move to place a leaf in her mouth, i gently redirected her and said "let's TOUCH the leaf" (and i model touching), or "we're LOOKING at the leaf" (and i talk about the leaf, it's colors and texture), or "mommy THROWS the leaf" (and we watch it flutter to the ground) etc etc. i figured that if i gave her many alternatives to eating the leaf, that she would eventually learn that that is one of the things that we don't do with it.
it was also such a sweet moment, to take time out to really get down on her level and re-experience the world through my precious daughter's eyes. what a gift.
thanks for starting this discussion...you seem to have a great grasp of how to talk to your dc in a gentle way. i love reading about the theories of gd but the most helpful are these discussions about the practical, real world application of these principles.
It's most helpful to use yes's that are related to the child's *reason* for doing the original activity (the impulse).
So, if the impulse behind eating leaves is because dc is teething, and wants something in his mouth, then "leaves are for touching" doesn't really address that impulse. It might be more helpful to add "here, you can put this teether in your mouth."
otoh, if the impulse behind eating leaves is that ds wants to explore leaves more fully, then it WOULD be helpful to say "let's touch the leaves. What happens when we drop them from up high?" etc.
Becky, partner to Teague, SAHM to Keagan (7yo), Jonah (2yo)
But I am so afraid of those terrible twos when they say No insessently.
I say 'no' more than I would like. but I also heavily use the "Please do this" positive kind of statement. Sometimes 'no' can be overused and then power struggles ensue, or too much of a negative can lead to a rebellious behavior that is more dangerous than whatever was originally happening.
Anyway, my 2c. Good luck finding your way through this one!