No Means... No-.jpg

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.