You, Your Toddler and the Word "No!"

11:39:00 PM

Toddlers act on impulse; they decide almost instantly and seem to just want everything. When they can't have it they become soooo emotionally out of control, they make a woman on her period look tame.

Getting the No
Most of the time your little one goes on a fit of rage, or despair, when he gets the iron "No". The word isn't entirely negative, but how it's being used makes it come off as harsh or unloving to kids. This makes it one of the top triggers for emotional bouts and the intro to another man y mano challenge.

How Often Do We Say No?
To be honest, we parents say "No" a lot. It's almost part of every sentence in most conversations with our kids:

  • They pick up an unknown object on the floor we say No.
  • They sneakily try to unlock our phone or tablet and we catch them, we say No.
  • They ask for that absurdly expensive toy and we say No.
  • They refuse to eat, we say No.
  • They try to get our sympathy over something unknown, we say No.

How Do We Say No?
And it doesn't really end there. On some really damned day, (let's say you had the most stressful week and just needed some peace and quiet) they pull at your arm like it's a rubber band for who knows what reason..

We Shout, We Yell, We Angrily Say "NO!"

Suddenly it's not just a No. It becomes a passionate, emotional and even aggressive NO. Sometimes we don't even pause to listen to know what they want or check what's really happening, we just say No and shut them off...

and it hurts their feelings.

Of course it does!

We are their go-tos when things get scary and confusing. When they don't understand something or are unable to do what they want or say how they feel, they rely on us to teach them how.

So how would you feel if your best friend said No to you when you need him/her most?

Why Do We Say No?

Saying No is meant to keep our little ones safe or behaved. We say No so they don't fall off the chair, eat food scraps from the floor or run with a barbeque stick on hand. Unfortunately, many times we say out of sheer tiredness.

credits to owner

We just want a day of peace where nobody wakes you up at 3 am for another cold glass of water.

We say No to put an end to a scene we don't want to handle "right now", and it is an easy exit. It is walking out, it is emotional quitting.

Our kids are not unaffected. They tend to feel neglected and sometimes insecureThat's what's wrong with "No". It's not the word itself, it's how we say it and why we say it that way.

Before We Say No...

Before we say No, let's think for a moment how we feel and if we need a time out first. Saying No is not always helpful.

Most of the time, "No" is not enough. Our kids need to know WHY we are saying no. So when we do decide to let that word out, it's best that we follow-up with an explanation:

  • No, you can't eat that because it's already dirty.
  • No, you can't eat any more chocolate because your teeth will rot.
  • No, you can't hit someone even when you're angry because it will hurt them.

I know it's lengthy and twice the effort for correcting a small mistake, a simple behavior or a milli-second disaster, but it is worth it in the long run. Our kids will LEARN, they will UNDERSTAND.

Let's Be Responsible Parents

Being self-aware is important. You get to catch what you're doing wrong and be able to correct it, before any damage is done.

So learn to self-reflect sometimes and think about what triggers you and how you can change that.

Our purpose as parents is to TEACH our kids what's GOOD and help them to keep doing it, even when they've grown up and can think for themselves. Keeping ourselves in check first before we keep our kids in check is a must.

We have to set examples to and change always begins in the self before others. Besides, our kids have us to correct their behavior but nobody can keep watch on us when we do something wrong. So be aware and:

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