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  • Writer's pictureCasa Bambini Early Childcare Centre

What to do when your toddler likes to say No!

Parents, have you ever wonder why all of a sudden, everything was ‘no’ from your toddler?

When you ask your 2 years old toddler to come to you, instead of walking to you, she will shake her head and shout “No”.

When you ask your 18 months old son to keep the toys away, he will shout “No”.

Toddlers and 2 years old are learning to think. They have opinions and ideas. They want to do things their own way. They have learned how to say no, and they can physically resist what they don’t want.

Why Your Toddler Says No to Everything

Before we figure out how to reduce the “No” we have to understand it. Your toddler is not being “bad” or “naughty”. Instead, there are many reasons that your toddler is using this word - No.

  1. Their communication is limited. Your toddler is learning words that express her feelings. She wants to let you know all about her wants and needs but she just doesn’t have the words yet. “No” is simple and straight forward and they learn early that this word has meaning.

  2. They have heard it frequently. As a parent, without realising it you might be using the word a lot more than you even realise. “No…don’t touch it”, “No….don’t play there”. Are these sound familiar to you? There are actually many positive alternatives to “No” that are still assertive and help your child learn boundaries and rules.

  3. They need to feel in control. Your toddler has learned what it feels like to make decisions and she likes it. Every time she gets to make a decision it gives her self confidence a boost! Her saying “no” is a simple way for her to feel important and strong.

How can we help toddler from Saying No to everything?

  1. Offer choices. Offering a limited choice is absolutely the best way of avoiding a showdown with your toddler. "Do you want to eat rice or noodle today?" "Do you want water or milk?" "Okay, time to choose! Do you want to put away your blocks or your soft toys" Two choices are enough at this stage, and this technique can be used for everything from getting dressed to solving playdate disputes: "Do you want to play nicely with Sam, or do you want to play by yourself?"

  2. Use "no" sparingly. Your toddler might be spouting "no's" in part because she constantly hears the word directed at her. If that's the case, try to cut back on your own use of the word and use alternatives to "no" whenever possible. One tactic is to replace the word with other phrases more specific to the situation at hand, like, "It's not safe to play on the stairs; let's play with your blocks instead, or, "Use your indoor voice, please.

Note: Pay close attention to how often you tell your toddler no. Keep a tally sheet if you need to. You will be surprised to find out just how often you actually tell your toddler “no” on a daily basis.

By Casa Bambini Early Childcare Centre

Childcare Centre for 2months to 4 years old

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