How many times do I have to say ‘no’?

[~12 months on]

Can I open it?

Can I open it?

Children really do WANT (and need) boundaries.  The other day, I did an experiment.  Master 15 months was playing with the packet of wipes… And then did his ‘can i?’ look to me, to open them up.  I simply said ‘no’.  He went on playing with the packet, until he checked in again, looking up at me with his ‘can I?’ face.  I said ‘no’ again.  He checked with my husband.  He said ‘no’.  We did this nine times until he decided he wouldn’t bother.  But it took nine ‘no’s!

We also used the simple ‘no’ (and with a sign) for when he asked with his ‘can I walk away from here?’ look.


At other times, when he has been in a similar scenario, if I have not been looking, he will go for it since there is no one there telling him ‘no’ in matter of fact terms.  Without a boundary, he cannot help it.

At other times, we have done the fun ‘no no no’ with a smile or a tickle.  Master 1 then thinks it’s a game.   The ‘no’ means ‘yes’ game, because he just wants more of the smiles and tickles.  The ‘no no no’ starts the game!  But it doesn’t help to stop the undesirable behaviour.  My bad!

And in other times, I have ignored little Master 1.  Like when he turns off the TV when we are watching it.  This can work a treat.  He gets no reaction, even when I can see him reeeeally wanting a reaction or a look, or a no no no.  He is then far less likely to do it again.  Until Master 3 comes along and really tries to get a reaction.  He turns off the TV…  Arrrgghhhh!

This entry was posted in Behaviour management and tagged , , , by heidelightful. Bookmark the permalink.

About heidelightful

Hello friend! I am a paediatric speech pathologist and health coach. My vision is to create a world where parents can understand the real link between diet and their child's health and behaviour, and know how to create true health for their family. My two young, wonderful and sensitive sons both have food intolerances and have also taught me about my own, that I have never known about until now! Topics I have looked into for my own family's health and also from my role as a speech pathologist with children with picky eating are food intolerances, fussy eaters, creating healthy eaters and eating to prevent and ‘cure’ childhood issues such as ADHD, autism, eczema/skin issues, trouble sleeping, low immunity, frequent snot/ear infections and bedwetting, to name a few. I write many posts coming from being an exhausted mum trying to keep up with fussy boys who can only eat certain foods and also as a professional who has worked with other children with similar issues. I live on the Sunshine Coast in Australia with my husband and two boys and was previously an exchange student in Brazil! I hope to inspire you to help your child achieve their potential through health and well-being. Thanks for stopping by :) Heidi

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