It’s not uncommon to hear adults to tell toddlers “no”. In fact toddlers hear it all the time that it become hilarious for them and often making you say no becomes a sport for them. Saying “no” to toddlers is now being ineffective in helping them learn. Hearing the word so often allows the word to lose its meaning.

Toddlers are at a stage where they tend to experiment a lot and where they begin to develop their personalities and identities. There is strong urge for them to be come strong and independent and what better way for them to show their uniqueness to others is by the word ‘no”. The word becomes a statement of separation and is given to everything and everyone around him.

While it is important to establish rules and boundaries, there must be a way to counter this negativism without compromising the set rules. It becomes vital to redirect behaviors and make sure that the only time you say the word “no” is when it is absolutely necessary. “No”s are to be used for important health and safety matters but continuous use will result to a child rebelling and complete disobedience to all the rules you’ve set.

Children want reasons why they can’t do things. As adults we should avoid telling a child not do so something simply because we tell them to. We need to make them understand why it is necessary for them to comply with what we tell them and that we are doing that for their own sake.

Don’t pre-empt a child’s bad behavior. Allow them to commit the error before actually reprimanding them and when you do reprimand them do it in a more positive approach. For example if the child is about to spill the drink, let him, then you can talk to him and say: see what happened?...” it would be easier for the child to understand what you are saying if he or she has experienced it. If a child wants to do something that is not appropriate, try to find another alternative where he can put to use what he wants to do. If he wants to write on the wall you can suggest that instead of doing that he can write a note to his mo in a card.

Offering alternatives to items that are not allowed will divert their attention and you can let them participate in something that you can supervise completely. When you must say “No” you must make it sound firm and really mean no. Children can discern a soft “no” from a “real no”. If they feel that your “no” is not really meant they will choose to ignore you. You have to learn to take charge and be an adult. They have to see who is the on in control.

Children will respond to authority and if you talk to them calmly. Approaching them with anger would often cause them to close up and hear nothing of what you said.

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