|

Toddlers Saying "No"

It's a Good Idea!

Think about how hard it would be to live in a house set up for giants-chairs, tables, and sinks too tall, drawers too heavy, stairs too steep. Making your house more child-friendly will enable your little one to become more independent, more resourceful, and less frustrated.

Saying the word no is a necessary part of being a toddler. Kids this age are driven by the need to make their own decisions, to be autonomous, and to control their world, and the way they express these needs is through the word no. If you're the parent of a toddler, you'll hear it morning, noon, and night.

Don't try to talk your little one out of it, and don't forbid it. “No” is not optional. Kids this age can be worked with, however. If you encourage their feelings of autonomy and power, you'll lessen the number of “no's” in your family. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Give your child choices so she feels a sense of control over her world. “Apple juice or carrot juice?” “Would you like me to help you into your stroller, or do you want to do it yourself?”
  • Encourage independence by letting them do things for themselves, and setting up their environment so they can. This may mean putting toys in bins, keeping cups for water on low shelves, putting stools near sinks, and generally making your home more child-friendly. It's hard for little kids to be as powerless as they are-let them experiment. (Let them experiment, but don't relinquish your supervision. Be sure that their experimentation happens within a safe setting.)
  • Enroll your child as your assistant. Let your child be a participant in family work and she'll feel needed and powerful in her ability to help.
  • Don't expect your child to always be nice, and don't take her “no” personally. Your child is not defiant, angry, or negative-she's a toddler saying “no.“
|

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Well-Behaved Child © 1999 by Ericka Lutz. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

jack-o'-lantern creator

Design and print
your own
jack-o’-
lanterns!

GO

highlights

Top 10 Group Halloween Costumes for Families
These store-bought and Pinterest-inspired Halloween costume ideas for groups are the perfect way to show off your creative side at your Halloween party or while trick-or-treating.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

12 Spine-Tingling Halloween Movies for Teens
Are you looking for a movie with just a little bit of spook-factor for your teen? Check out these 12 spine-tingling Halloween movies!

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!