Good Tips - Alternatives to "No!" (age 2)

Thursday, May 12, 2011 0 comments

a very good tips for mothers with toddlers...i'm going through this phase right now...Oh 30 months old Rayyan Adnan...we all loves you...

What to expect at this age

Maybe the word "no" doesn't quite register with your 2-year-old, or maybe you'd just like to give discipline a more positive spin. Luckily, you have plenty of alternatives to this overused command — and for good reason. "Children often begin to tune it out, and you may find that it takes ten no's to get your child to respond," says Roni Leiderman, associate dean of the Family Center at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Whether you're trying to keep your child out of trouble or teach him right from wrong, try a better, more effective approach than the "n" word.

What to do

Rephrase. You can't depend on a 2-year-old to control himself, no matter how emphatically you tell him to stop what he's doing. But you still need to tell him how to behave — and make sure he follows through. Instead of saying "no," clearly state what he can do instead. Two-year-olds respond much better to positive instructions than negative ones. So rather than barking, "No! Don't throw the ball in the living room," for instance, try "Let's go outside to play ball." When bath-time turns into an excuse to drench the floor, say, "We play with water in the tub, not on the floor." If he persists, take the sprayer away from him, or take him out of the tub.

If your child is about to do something dangerous, tell him — in a positive way — that you won't allow it: "I won't let you walk in the street because I want to keep you safe." When you don't have time to explain the perils of oncoming traffic (or a sizzling stove), substitute a more direct warning, such as "Stop!" "Danger!" or "Hot!"

Offer options. As young as he is, your 2-year-old desperately wants to feel independent and in control. So rather than issuing a flat-out no when he reaches for a kitchen knife, let him choose instead between the potato masher and the whisk — then put the knives well out of reach. When he begs for a piece of candy before lunch, sidestep a straight denial by offering him a choice between halved grapes and apple slices. (A 2-year-old will often choose the second alternative simply because it's the last one he hears, so if you have a preference, bear that in mind!)

Drive him to distraction. A 2-year-old is hard-pressed to leave forbidden objects alone, but he's also young enough to distract away from whatever's causing the problem. When a delicate figurine catches his eye in the department store, quickly point out how the light reflects in a mirror across the aisle, or how fuzzy a sweater on a nearby rack feels. As you direct his interest elsewhere, move away from temptation. In this case, development is on your side: Because your child is so intensely interested in everything now, it's easy to substitute something he'll find equally fascinating.

Avoid the issue. Whenever you can, keep your 2-year-old out of situations where you'll have to say no, and opt instead for safe environments that encourage his sense of adventure and curiosity. Rather than admonish him day after day about electrical cords, forbidden cupboards, and breakable objects, for instance, redouble your childproofing efforts. And choose places where he's free to roam — the playground or your sister's big backyard, for instance, over the housewares store or Great-Grandma Jenny's antique-filled home. You can't isolate your child from all situations where you'll have to say no, of course, but life will be easier for both of you — and you'll be able to say yes more often — if you limit them.

Ignore minor infractions. Life presents plenty of meaningful opportunities to teach your child discipline. Don't go looking for extras. If he's splashing in a puddle and you're on your way home anyway, why not let him? If he has a yen to fingerpaint his leftover yogurt onto his highchair tray, what's the harm? Remember this parenting mantra: Choose your battles. Indulge his sense of adventure, fun, and exploration whenever you can. If he's safe and you don't have to say no, let it slide.

Say it like you mean it. Of course, when his behavior does matter, and alternatives to no just won't cut it, don't waffle. Say it firmly (but calmly), with conviction and a poker face — "No! Don't pull the cat's tail." An amused "No, no, sweetie" sends your child mixed messages and certainly won't discourage him. When he responds, give him a smile or a hug and follow up with something affirmative — "Yes! What a good listener you are!"


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