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<p>I may go crazy. When DS asks for something, and I say no, he just keeps asking the same way over and over. He's 22 months old. Here's an example:</p>
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<p>DS: Want crackers?</p>
<p>Me: no crackers right now.</p>
<p>DS: Want crackers?</p>
<p>Me: Not now, dinner is almost ready</p>
<p>DS: Want crackers?</p>
<p>Me: (silence, trying to ignore)</p>
<p>DS: Want crackers? Want crackers? want crackers? want crackers?</p>
<p>Me: you can't have crackers right now, but you can sit in your high chair and play with this bowl and spoon.</p>
<p>DS: Want crackers?</p>
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<p>And this is not an exaggeration at all. How do you respond to these repeated requests? Nothing seems to work with him. I have tried flat out no, choices, explaining, and redirecting. Redirecting will sometimes work, everything else fails. I have also tried explaining that "we have to wait" and he will accept this very rarely. Help!</p>
 

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<p>I wish I could offer you more help, but when we handle this, it always ends with a tantrum.  I've tried just about everything and redirecting sometimes works, but more often than not I end up telling him no and that I'm not talking about it anymore.  This usually gets him good and angry to the point of throwing a fit, but I'm at a loss too.  I don't know what else to do aside from keep responding to his additional requests (which usually just ends up in a tantrum once he gets tired of asking anyway).</p>
 

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One thing that sometimes helps is repeating what he wants. So instead of: "Want crackers?" "No crackers right now," I'd try something like, "Want crackers?" "Yes, I know you want crackers, but we aren't going to have crackers right now." I think sometimes this makes them feel more clearly heard, especially with new talkers.<br><br>
But yes, generally I end up ignoring it after I've given an adequate answer and made sure he understands (sometimes I ask him to repeat my answer). No amount of repetition seems to help so I just say gently, "This is the last time I'm going to answer this question, no crackers right now, come help me finish dinner," and just ignore further requests.
 
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<p>My 33 month old DS does this constantly. It makes me want to tear my hair out. So far I've got no solutions beyond trying to tune him out after I've answered several times.</p>
 

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<p>Personally I just give in and give him crackers! I try not to battle or have power issues with food. I am firm with no when it is really important to me- safety or well being- but if my ds wants crackers or something I just say sure.  If it is something more than that- for example he loves popsicles- so he always askes for another when he is done with one- I just distract with something. I say- no, the popsicles are all gone for now- let's go outside!</p>
 

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<p>I've found that sometimes it's more of a request for attention than the need for a snack. I will pick up my dd and involve her in what I'm doing or find a new activity that we can do together.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Snapdragon</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344234/when-the-answer-is-no-but-ds-keeps-asking-anyway#post_16864249"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>Personally I just give in and give him crackers! I try not to battle or have power issues with food. I am firm with no when it is really important to me- safety or well being- but if my ds wants crackers or something I just say sure.  If it is something more than that- for example he loves popsicles- so he always askes for another when he is done with one- I just distract with something. I say- no, the popsicles are all gone for now- let's go outside!</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Billie1221</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344234/when-the-answer-is-no-but-ds-keeps-asking-anyway#post_16864291"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>I've found that sometimes it's more of a request for attention than the need for a snack. I will pick up my dd and involve her in what I'm doing or find a new activity that we can do together.</p>
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<p>LOL both of these, definitely!  I don't think it gets much better... <img alt="hide.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1328497682558_166" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hide.gif"></p>
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<p>3.5 y/o DS will ask - "Can I have a treat?" Me: "No, you don't need a treat. You've just finished lunch and it's time to play." "But I want a treat." "I know  you want a treat, but the answer is no." "Mommy, I love you. PLEASE can I have a treat?" "No. I love you, but that's not even related to having a treat." "But why can't I have a treat?" "Because you don't need one." "Pretty please Mommy?" "No." "I'll just go to the kitchen and get a treat and then come right back...." "NO." .... <img alt="dizzy.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1328497682558_304" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/dizzy.gif"></p>
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<p>Sometimes I give in by just giving the smallest possible version of yes .... he wants a treat, I give him a bite (yes, one bite) of ice cream. Technically, a treat. LOL. Ditto with DD and her love for crackers. I take one cracker and break it into 4 pieces, and hope that will last long enough to get dinner ready..... but yes, it also feels like a need for attention. They don't just want something, they want something given by you since you're clearly busy - which is why my kids are fussiest during meal prep!</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<p>Thanks for the replies!</p>
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<p>I didn't mean to imply that this only happens with food, he does it for anything he wants, anytime I say no. Mostly I try to say yes, but sometimes he has just eaten, or I'm in the process of cooking, so I don't want to give in. Other times he is asking for something that he simply can't have (like something dangerous) and I have no choice but to refuse.</p>
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<p>I do agree with the suggestion that he wants attention more that whatever he's asking for, because it definitely happens more when I'm involved in something. I guess I just have to come up with ways to keep him busy if I can't respond to him, or redirect him when he's asking for something dangerous.</p>
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<p>He definitely will escalate into a tantrum if I don't respond, that's why I needed advice!</p>
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<p>Thanks so much everyone!</p>
 

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<p>If you can find some good food items that he likes, maybe a coule differnet kinds, that you think are healthy enough to give him sometimes- you can sometimes distract or put off tantrums with that. Say, for example- a popsicle- a favorite around here. We buy some ready made organicy ones ( still too sugary tho!) and I am starting to make my own less sugary ones- and they can often distract and ward off a tantrum when I am saying no to something. find something that you feel comfortable and helathy to give him. Some people try not to use food in that way and I understand that but it helps me out for sure.</p>
 

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<p>During the toddler stage, taking a playful approach or letting them help in some way if they're nagging while I'm busy has always worked out best for me. </p>
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<p>With DS (18 months), after going back and forth the first couple times, sometimes I'll switch it up with something like "Nope, you can't have crackers, but you can have A TICKLE ATTACK!", I'll chase him around holding out my arms insisting he pick me up, or I'll mimic his typical food request (he asks for a bite, like "Bite puff?") and repetitively ask "Bite belly?" Any one of those tends to result in shrieking laughter, after which he may go back to what he was asking, but with a big smile in hopes of getting the same response again, and then he forgets all about what he was initially after. If he's truly hungry he won't let it go (in which case I make a point of getting him something sooner), but otherwise it works great. I used to handle it the same way with DD (still do sometimes), and it works pretty well with my roommate's almost 3 year old as long as he isn't overtired. </p>
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<p>When I'm cooking, if it is at all possible to do what I'm doing with one hand, I'll pick him up and let him cook with me for a moment (e.g. help him stir something), sit him on the counter beside me (if I'm able to keep a hand on him and he's calm), or throw him on my back in the mei tai. Then he forgets all about what he was asking for and focuses on what I'm doing. Giving him something important to do (like "DS, I need LOTS of potatoes for dinner. Can you get me some potatoes, please?") helps a lot, too. When I'm sewing and cutting out a big pattern, I have him sit in the middle of it to hold it still while I pin it to the fabric. When I'm getting boxes ready to mail, I have him hold the boxes still for me while I tape them closed. Pretty sure they won't go anywhere if no one holds them down, but he feels pretty important anyways. He also likes to help put clothes in the washing machine, bring DD her clean laundry (one article of clothing at a time), and put the clean silverware away, and all of that takes him <em>forever</em> so they're great ways of keeping him busy for awhile. Letting him help or wearing him on my back tends to satisfy his need for more attention and he loves to be involved with whatever I'm doing. </p>
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I just want to point out that there's nothing wrong with tantrums... they are just his way of expressing himself, his disappointment, etc.<br><br>
So while obviously you don't want to 'make' your kid tantrum, you also don't need to bend over backwards (and bend your rules or send mixed messages), and if he tantrums as a result, that is OK. Sometimes you just need to hold your ground or stick to your words just once for them to 'get' it, you know? Sometimes they just need to learn that after they've asked a question 30 times, they aren't going to get an answer, or aren't going to get a better answer. And sometimes the only way they can learn that may happen to result in a bit of tantrumming.<br><br>
Another thing I've heard is that if you change your answer each time, kiddo will think that if he asks enough, the answer will change to yes. So by saying, "No, dinner is almost ready," then "No, we'll have one after dinner," then "No, we aren't having a treat right now," what he is hearing is that it's negotiable, that there are different answers, and maybe one of those answers is Yes. So it might be worth trying to answer the exact same way each time he asks.
 
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>crunchy_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344234/when-the-answer-is-no-but-ds-keeps-asking-anyway#post_16865020"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Another thing I've heard is that if you change your answer each time, kiddo will think that if he asks enough, the answer will change to yes. So by saying, "No, dinner is almost ready," then "No, we'll have one after dinner," then "No, we aren't having a treat right now," what he is hearing is that it's negotiable, that there are different answers, and maybe one of those answers is Yes. So it might be worth trying to answer the exact same way each time he asks.</div>
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<br><br><p>Hmm, that's interesting. I figured I was being consistent by saying "No". I never considered that my wording should be exactly the same. I'll have to try that.</p>
 
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