If you have a toddler, I am sure you have heard the word “No” more than you care. NO!NO!NO! Some days it feels as if this is the only word your toddler even knows. She wants her opinion to be known and she is going to let you know, but why does your toddler says no to everything? What is she trying to tell you?
Why Your Toddler Says No to Everything
Before we figure out how to reduce the “No” we have to understand it. As frustrating as it can be and as defiant and strong-willed as it seems, there are actually many reasons why your toddler says no to everything . Your toddler is not being “bad”, “naughty”, or even “defiant”. Instead there are many reasons that your toddler is using this word as a go to response!
1. Her communication is limited. Your toddler list learning words that express her feelings. She wants to let you know all about her wants and needs but she just doesn’t have the words yet. “No” is simple and straight forward and they learn early that this word has meaning.
2. It’s psychology 101. As defiant as this seems this is not a portrayal of your poor parenting skills. In fact according to researcher Theodore Dix, PhD, of the University of Texas at Austin, defiant behavior among very young children appears to be a positive development.
3. He has heard it frequently. You aren’t the only one that doesn’t like hearing “No”. Without realizing it you might be using the word a lot more than you even realize. There are many positive alternatives to “No” that are still assertive and help your child learn boundaries and rules.
4. She needs to feel in control. Your toddler has learned what it feels like to make decisions and she likes it. Every time she gets to make a decision it gives her self confidence a boost! Her saying “no” is a simple way for her to feel important and strong.
5. He is NOT being Bad! In fact, according to Janet Lansbury, the author of No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline without Shame , would argue that there are many reasons your toddler is acting out and finding the positive way of dealing with it will ensure you and your child have a healthy budding relationship.
How Can You Stop Your Toddler From Saying No to Everything?
When I first started this post, I was going to share 1 strategy we have been using to help our toddler through this trying phase. However, once I started gathering everything together, I realized just how much information there is I can share about toddler struggles. I have decided to turn this into a mini-series. Next week, I plan to share a simple strategy to reducing the frequency of “No” that has worked like a charm in our home.
I am sure you are saying, but wait… I want help now! My toddler is driving me bonkers! Guess what, you have the knowledge to get started! Now that you know the “why” behind the “no”, let’s learn more about the “when”.
This week’s challenge: This week’s challenge is 2 parts. It is our goal to get to the bottom of this and truly understand the what and why of our toddler behavior (and our reactions to it).
Challenge #1: Pay close attention to how often you tell your toddler no. Keep a tally sheet if you need to. Although I try to use positive parenting, I was surprised to find out just how often I actually tell her “no” on a daily basis. How many times did you say no in one hour, one day, one week? Come tell me! I won’t judge!
Challenge #2: Now pay close attention to your toddler. When is she saying no the most? Where is she saying no? What is happening before and after the no? In your journal, jot this down. Keep it simple or you won’t want to do it every day.
Example: When: Before Nap Question: It’s Time for Nap Response: NO!
Remember, you are not alone! This is not just happening to your toddler and you are not a bad parent! Together we can enjoy parenting and find the small things that make us smile!
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