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When mamas say "no!" - what are your deal-breakers?

747 Views 17 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  erratum
Our dd is 2 and a bit - and very into exercising her will lately!

I thought it would be fun to start a thread about when we put our foots down and say, "No". Obviously anything safety related is a clear NO, but how do you pick your battles? When every transition of the day is fraught with power struggles, when do you stand your ground?

Some of ours:
-nuks (soothers) allowed only in dd's bed, for long car rides and in the bath.

-must try food before saying you don't want to eat it

-Bottles only first thing in the morning, after daycare and before bath

-proper tooth-brushing must be done every day, no matter how much screaming and protesting; if Scout chooses not to do it herself then mom or dad will do it for her (first option is usually her preferred one)

-we greet guests or when we are visiting others with either a kiss, hug or hi-five (always her choice)

Looking forward to others' responses...
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I don't think I have any hard and fast rules except ones that are safety and hygiene related and I consider myself a pretty firm mama. Maybe I'm just lucky in that we don't have many battles.

I am big on him picking up after himself but we do that together.

The only one I can think of right now is that he either has to put on a diaper or go potty before he sits on the couch (his choice). He is bare bottomed most of the day and I'd much rather wipe up an accident off the tile floor than shampoo upholstery.

Also during nap time he can choose to play in his room instead of sleep but it must be with quiet toys - no drums, kicking the door/wall, etc.
I'm a big stickler on being nice to the dog-she's older and pretty sensitive, so we have to work on being gentle with her. DS loves the dog but doesn't always remember how to pet her gently and leave her alone when she needs her space.
We don't have too many. We need to be nice to friends (no hitting, no toy grabbing, etc). Tooth brushing is one of ours too. Another one is rifling through the fridge for food. I used to not mind but he started making a mess and getting food everywhere while he was doing it so now if he wants food he needs to ask and we will get it for him. He needs to pick up his toys but I always help him and we usually make a game of it.

Originally Posted by Jess_n'_the_bean View Post
-must try food before saying you don't want to eat it

I would like to enforce this rule, but how? I suggest to my dd that she try something, and she just outright refuses. I could say no to what she does want (yogurt, at every meal) but she doesn't care -- she's happy just to end the mean and it's me that doesn't want her going to bed hungry.

My only big non-safety rule is no feet on the table during meal times. It's just gross.
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Originally Posted by sarahr View Post
I would like to enforce this rule, but how? I suggest to my dd that she try something, and she just outright refuses.
I know lots of people have this rule but I'm not sure it works with every personality. I'm glad my parents didn't do this because it probably would have really caused me to rebel and have food issues. I went through several picky phases as a child but now I'm one of the least picky people I know with a very diverse palate.

I suggest my DS tries stuff ("The chicken is really good tonight you should try some!"), I offer spices or sauce if he wants to dip, but then I leave it alone. As long as everything on his plate is healthy I don't worry.

I think a bigger food issue is learning to be respectful of the people who make the food. My son is only 28 months so this doesn't really apply to him yet, but I would not allow an older child to say something is "gross" or make yuck faces at something he was being served.

I apply the same standards to my child as I do myself or my husband. I wouldn't "make" my husband take a bite of a side dish he didn't care for, but I wouldn't tolerate him saying bad things about my cooking either (not that he would, but you get the picture).
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hmm...lemme think. the hills i die on are:

no shoes on the bed (grosses me out)

no pulling cats' tails

no touching the other nipple when she's nursing

no picking at paint chips on windowsills (lead; worries me!)

that's really all i can think of that i am really passionate about!
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ds has been a crazy easy infant and seems to be becoming a crazy easy toddler.

He stops in his tracks when i say, "that's electricity! don't touch!" even though he has never been shocked or physically harmed by voltage. The other day i said, "Can you please stop making that noise? it really bothers me." and he did. wtf??????

Don't get me wrong, he loves the word "no" and repeats it incessantly, his favourite thing to do while i sew is pull all the books off a (particular) bookshelf and dump my entire music collection on cassette onto the floor, and he does experience frustration that is intense enough to cause back-arching inconsolably crying meltdowns just like any other 14 month old, but compared to my other kids at this age, things are going very smoothly.

With the teenager, if he's not dead or in jail that's all that matters.
With the adult dd, if she's a decent, intelligent human being then i "won" the whole frickin' war so i shouldn't care so much that she hates me.

I've been over and over how i might have parented them differently, but i think it's just the toddler's natural temperment and one of many variatiions on normal.
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We have lots of rules here. I'm a single mom to three little ones half the time (DH works offshore so is gone 2 weeks/month), so I run a tight ship in order to maintain sanity.

My kids have to clean up their own messes. I will help if it's a huge mess, but mostly they do it themselves. This includes my 21-month-old, who requires a lot of coaching, but I don't give up until it's done.

No pulling hair, hitting, kicking, etc. NO WAY on Earth am I going to have a child that hits me in the face, rips my hair out, etc.

Food is eaten at the kitchen table. Period.

My 21-month-old sits in a high chair every time he eats, including at restaurants. My friend drives me CRAZY leaving her 2-year-old totally unrestrained in restaurants, running around to other people's tables, etc. I think I'll probably wait until the child is 5 or 6 before I ever go out to eat with them again. Same with shopping--the littles ones are always restrained in the shopping cart, held, or pushed in a stroller in stores. I just.can' with kids dashing around stores, pulling clothes off the racks and such. Mind boggling.

They must be clean and decently dressed before we go anywhere.

Hmm...I'm having a hard time thinking of anything else. Just the normal stuff, like no climbing to dangerous heights, playing with the tap in the bathtub, etc. We don't have any eating rules other than eating at the table--my littlest is an extremely picky and light eater, and I don't force him to eat things he doesn't want, even if it means he skips a whole meal. I refuse to get into food battles with any of my kids--it cannot end well.
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Main one is Mommy gets to set a time limit on nursing, she may increase it, but that is up to her, not sir dictator.

Originally Posted by becoming View Post
No pulling hair, hitting, kicking, etc. NO WAY on Earth am I going to have a child that hits me in the face, rips my hair out, etc.

This I will not allow. I've watched my 3.5yo niece slap and hit everyone in the family for years without any type of response, it's horrible. So far "gentle touches" has worked great as a redirector...hoping it doesn't become a problem later.
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No hitting pets or people.
Teeth must be brushed.
we don't force very many things. obviously, violence is not ok in any form.

she likes to have her hand on my boob when we're cuddling or when she's going to sleep, but i don't let her touch my nipples.

we don't force any food issues, but we do have a "no feet on the table" rule that she likes to push. we just give her the option of putting her feet down, or getting down to play. not a huge power struggle or anything.
Now that big brother is getting older, he must try to put on socks/pants/undies/ etc, but I will always help him finish if he needs it.

Now that big brother is using the potty, he is free to wipe himself, but Mommy gets a final check.

Now that little sister is signing, she must sign for milk/ more dive bombing Mommy's chest at random intervals

Both kids must brush teeth, and both kids must let Mommy or Daddy finish up the turn with some extra brushing.

Now that little sister is walking and can reach anything big brother can reach, our newest rule is: if you have put it down, your turn is over. Unless you are actually touching the toy/object, it is not your turn. And if the toy you last touched 20 min ago is on the floor and your sibling has recently picked it up...sorry, it is not your turn anymore, and it just isn't true that your sibling took it from you...and no you may not grab it out of his or her hands!
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Originally Posted by RoundAbout View Post
I apply the same standards to my child as I do myself or my husband. I wouldn't "make" my husband take a bite of a side dish he didn't care for, but I wouldn't tolerate him saying bad things about my cooking either (not that he would, but you get the picture).
I totally agree with this!!! Food is officially a non-issue in our house. DS comes to the table, eats what he wants, leaves the table when he's done. We don't comment about his food, try to encourage him to eat anything specific or to eat more. I tell ya, DS has amazing "manners" for a 2 y/o, and a pretty diverse palate to boot.

We also have very few rules in our house. Mainly that we don't hurt anyone in our house, animals or people. And safety.
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- Treat others the way you want to be treated. (Encompasses hitting, kicking, biting, name calling, the works)

- Whining will never get you what you want....ever (You have to use a respectful tone if you want something. This goes for DH too

- No picking up the baby when Mama or Daddy can't help you... (like when I'm on the toliet!)

- And for the baby: NO biting while nursing. If biting happens the nipple is going to need some time out.

Thankfully the big guy is pretty easy and rarely needs reminding of this stuff and the little one is too little to understand.
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No hitting, biting, or kicking people or animals. (usually no problem)
Use "Please" and "Thank You."
Must hold hands or be held when crossing the street.
Chairs are for sitting in.
Only pee-pee/poo-poo go in the potty.
No walking/standing on mama.
No screaming "wake up" in the cat's face.
No stealing toys. If someone is holding something, its their turn.
If you find something on the floor, mama has to identify it before you can eat it.

I also think I'll eventually enforce "if mama's going to draw something, you have to draw as well." (as in "mama, draw a fan. mama, draw a dog. mama, draw a helicopter.")
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