no, NO!, no-no, no, No, no, NO! no...

For those of you with toddlers, do you find yourself saying "no" more than any other word in the English language? I was reading What to Expect: The Toddler Years, and it mentions to try and limit how often you say no. So now I feel guilty.

Everywhere we go, everything we do, Anna wants to grab, rip, eat, bite, throw, or destroy everything she sees. It's not that she's a terror, most of the time she's so quiet I don't see what she's doing until it's too late. So what exactly am I supposed to say? I can't keep her locked in a padded, colorful playroom filled with bite resistent toys!

Yesterday she dumped over the dogs water bowl- "no Anna." Today she ripped up one of her books- "No, Anna!" She tries to eat a dead bug- "no-no, yucky". She reaches up to touch the stove (it was off)- "No Anna!" She throws the remote control on the ground- "No Anna". She chews on her dirty shoe- "no, no." She opens her mouth and lets all the slobbery food inside fall out- "No."

I just don't see how I can say 'no' less often (or variations of no, such as 'don't', 'yucky', 'that's not acceptable behavior as long as you're living under my roof young lady', and so on. We try to say 'yes' when she plays with a toy or eats properly, or whatever. I just feel so ignorant about how to properly raise a toddler to become a responsible, polite, well-mannered kid.

Any suggestions?


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The O'Brien Family said...

I promise you are not the only one! I've decided its time to start *researching* discipline styles to figure out which I like best because I am tired of saying NO!

Lindsey said...

let me know if you find out anything good! (have you read "Toddlerwise" by Gary Ezzo?)

Simply AnonyMom said...

I have lots I use. I use:
Quit it
Hey Now
Please Don't
We don't do that
Let's not
Are you we supposed to do that?

I also have lots of praise:
Good Job.
You are so smart
What a big girl
What a good eater/sleeper/cleaner

I still say No more than I should, But I really try to mix it up so they hear many different praises during the day.

Sarah said...

Yes, I say "no" all the time! Kathryn's at the age now (22 months) where when I say "no no Kathryn" she'll look at me and do it again. I haven't figured out anything that really works better yet. If she won't stop, I usually go over and physically "help" her to stop, just to make sure she knows I mean it. But I don't know yet how well that's working because it's still a work in progress. :-) Prayer first of all, I guess!

Emily's blog said...

Um ,yeah... I say No all the time and my boys are only 13 months. They hardly really get into "trouble", but they are quickly learning to take risks and try new things... I need to read more...that's for sure, but man, I don't find much time to do that! I feel guilty too... I think I need to be very careful about how often I use NO and find other words that might work instead!

Stonefox (otherwise known as Heidi) said...

I don't know that there is a way to NOT say "no." Of course you can use variations of the word, but it comes back to "no." Look at the positive...it's one word they will learn quickly and never forget!!

Thanks for "finding" my blog! I have wanted to meet other overseas families, so I was excited to read your comment. Raising children overseas has it's own set of difficulties too, as I'm sure you know!

I look forward to reading more of your adventures on your blog.

Staci said...

We all say no, constantly. I swear, I say it a million and one times, even on a good day in our house. I agree with the other ladies, that as long as you mix it up with positives, there's no reason at all to feel guilty.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, I'm glad you enjoyed reading it!

Andrew & Erin said...

Obviously, I'm no parenting expert, but I went through an effective discipline training at work, and they said telling a kid what they should be doing, instead of what we don't want them to is more effective.

For instance, instead of telling Anna "No! Don't eat the book!" try saying, "Books are for reading," and showing her what that looks like. Or when she reaches for the dog bowl, give her a plastic cup that she can play with and tell her that the bowl belongs to the dog, but she can play with the cup instead...

So, this works with the kids at my school. At work our number one example is instead of telling a kid "No running!" we say "Walk, please!" and it totally works better! So many times they just don't understand what exactly we are expecting of them, so modeling and explaining our expectations is a good place to start!

Rachel said...

I wish I had suggestions! My little girl is 14 months and she already says "NO!" I know it's because of how frequently she is told "no," but I don't know how else to stop her from doing dangerous things!

Daddy&Mummy with lOvEs ... said...

Ha same sentiment ... now before i can say anything, my 2yo will goes "mummy say no no no"
p/s btw, i was surfing around and read ur blog. interesting !

marriedtogreg said...

Hey girl! I found your blog through Entrecard and I am glad I did. Its so neat and I'm glad to have found a missionary how cool! I'm a Christian Writer & speaker and I too have a very similiar basket to the one you describe here. ITs really odd how much my basket it like yours. SERIOUSLY! I have my bible there, my planner, my current devotional book and all! Wow! We think alike.