Wednesday, July 22, 2009

No, no, no, no, no, no, no

Eve is becoming so wonderfully acquainted with her newfound ability to say No that she loves to use the word, even when she means yes. I understand that this is just her learning to assert her independence, and boy does she like to assert it, but I am having to draw up a whole new set of Mummy behaviours to deal with it.

1. Don't ask a question if you aren't actually giving her a choice e.g. would you like to leave the playground now? Asking the question, being told no and then ignoring that desire seems to result in a tantrum of monumental proportions. I now make statements rather than ask questions unless I am actually OK if she says no.
2. Sometimes no means yes. If I suspect Eve actually means yes then I just keep asking until she realises that maybe no isn't the best answer. So, this morning I asked Eve is she wanted toast for breakfast, no. Then croissant (her all time favourite breakfast food), no. I asked again, no. Then again, at which point she paused.
3. Silence means yes. Easy.
4. Don't sweat the little things. If she doesn't want to eat her breakfast, or have her fruit, or would rather be carried than walk then I let it go. I am learning to pick my battles, the current one being brushing her teeth, which is very important for me to win.

All other suggestions gratefully received.


Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

the brushing teeth battle is ongoing. Then it is the letting Mummy brush your teeth as well battle.

welcome to toddler world.

Mummy said...

I got a great idea on the brushing teeth battle from my toddler bible "what to expect, the toddler years". It suggested having two different toothbrushes and letting the toddler choose which one to use. Now we have one with a sheep on and one with a duck on (allowing for accompanying animal noises) and so far it has worked.

Sabina said...

We found that letting the kids put the toothpaste on themselves encouraged them to then actually proceed voluntarily (and quite enthusiastically) with brushing their teeth.
The downside is that you do end up going through a lot more tubes of toothpaste than would otherwise be the case (and the mess that goes with it).

Grande Poobah said...


you've taken me right back to my child psych days when we used to run parent training classes (yes indeed, despite having no kids, and no clue, I did this...)

lots of parents use questions (or question commands in the jargon) as they think they are somehow empowering their kids by giving them choices. However, if there's no choice, or the child is too young to make a choice, then it's better all round to just say it straight as a statement, rather than trying to coerce them round to the parents' point of view...