My son, Augie, is 20 months old and started the toddler phase a lot earlier than I thought he would. The terrible-twos have really hit home for us recently.
My son’s favorite word is “no.” For a small while when Augie first started to talk I noticed that he said “no” to me a lot. As a new mom, I began to get flustered with his little attitude. I began to think that he was too sassy and I questioned my parenting.
Soon, I started to realize that when he said “no” he didn’t always mean no. For example, when I offered him chocolate he would say “no.” Then cry when I put it away. I am no child psychologist; but, I think that since “no” is an easy word and he hears it from me a lot that he says it a lot.
Now, to those of you reading this who have been around children a lot or who have your own children you might be thinking………DUH!
For me though, I was not around a lot of children growing up and I am new to this whole mom thing. If you are like me then here are some helpful things that I have found to do when your child says “no” a lot and you think it doesn’t always mean no.
- Try to listen for a tone. Sometimes my son means no and he is loud about it. Other times he says it so nicely and then I know he doesn’t mean that and I can correct him.
- Try to teach them “yes.” Every time Augie says “no” but then gets upset if he doesn’t get what he wants then I try to repeat several times the word “yes.” Or you can try head nods. Augie has finally started to catch on.
- Don’t get upset if your child always says no when they are first trying to speak. They are just learning and I hear the terrible twos only last….20 years.
- Make sure your reaction comes after you figure out what they really mean. If they say “no” to you (but didn’t mean it) and you get upset or mad, I think, it can cause more harm than help.
Being a parent is full of #momfails, but it takes practice and, after all, we are just learning too.