“No!”

Source: sheknows.com

If you have ever been around a two-year-old, you know that the word “no” is often a favorite. It’s a powerful word, and these little ones like to start using it once they discover its power. They realize that this one little word allows them to deny a request, object to an instruction, and in many ways, assert their independence.

How does a parent deal with this word when it gets used so often? The key is to determine the child’s attitude when he says the word.

Dealing with a defiant “no”
Don’t allow your child to tell you “no” after you have given an instruction. When striving for first-time obedience, no child can be allowed to deny, object to or otherwise flout parental authority.

If your child says “no” in response to a request, issue a consequence. Aim for a logical consequence, but if you can’t find one, send him into timeout. Follow these timeout tips. When the timeout is over, make sure his attitude is submissive and obedient. Explain very clearly that he is not allowed to say “no” to you when you give an instruction. If his “no” was particularly defiant, tell him very sternly that he is not allowed to speak to you that way.

Be sure not to let him off without obeying your original instruction. Don’t teach him that all he has to do is serve a little timeout time to get out of complying with an instruction.

Understanding a benign “no”
If you ask an honest question of your child like, “Do you need to go potty?” allow him to say “no.” This makes sense, right? It’s simple communication. If it’s a simple “no,” that’s fine. But if it’s said with attitude, don’t allow it. Verbally remind him of the tone of voice you expect. You might even train him to say “no thank you” if you are dealing with tone.

There are some children who just like to hear themselves say the word “no.” This is fine, again, as long as his attitude is in the right place. If you give him an instruction and he complies while saying “no, no, no, no,” don’t worry about it.

Use his action as your guide
In addition to checking his attitude, just look to your child’s actions to determine whether you need to discipline him for saying “no.” If he complies with your instructions and does so without complaint or defiance, no discipline is needed.

Watch your questions
As I explain in my eBook, Live in Harmony with First-Time Obedience, it’s important to be careful of what we ask our children and when we ask them. If you ask a two-year-old who is in the “no” phase to comply with an instruction when there are five minutes left of his favorite TV show, then yes, you might hear a “no.” Find a better time to give your instructions

Similarly, don’t get into the habit of asking your child question after question. Instead of asking the child if he will put his coat on, just hold the coat out and help him into it. Don’t invite defiance. If he’s tired or hungry, don’t ask or even tell him to go sit at the table. Take him by the hand and lead him there while you say, “It’s time to eat.”

Treat the word “no” this way, and you’ll start to see the word fade from your child’s vocabulary.

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