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How can I get my one-year-old son to listen to "no"?

There are two problems. One: he has one of two reactions - either he completely ignores me, or he starts crying hysterically. Two: we live with my parents and they loudly discourage me from saying no unless it is a dangerous situation (they'd prefer that I let him trash the house or whatever.) I try not to overuse "no" and usually say "uh-uh" at first, unless it's dangerous. But I don't know how to get through to him, especially with my parents acting as though I'm cruel or lazy for telling him "no" when he throws things or whatever else. Any suggestions?

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Asked by quirkymama at 8:23 AM on Apr. 14, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 2 (13 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • dont tell him no...i believe (1 have a 15month old and tried everything) I believe that no is bad to put on a child. It is discouraging everything to them they dont understand you are saying no to that one specific thing. Try a time out chair. I did this and still do I mention the time out chair when my sn throws a tantrum or hits or anything bad and he stops immediately! Whenever a bad situation arises where you feel the need to say no, say no no playing with that (or what ever the situation) is bad go to your time out chair until you can be a good boy. He isnt gonna sit there for more then like ten seconds but when he gets up tell him every time he gets up "are you sorry, that was a no no, give mommy a hug" it works for us...GL!

    Answer by Bugsmommy1908 at 8:26 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Well your parents need to learn that the word no is something he needs to learn so he doesn't turn into a holy terror. If he doesn't learn it now then the older he gets the less he will listen to it. My sisters kids are 6, 5 and 3 and they have never heard the word no and if they do its rare so they have destroyed a brand new house, the cars, their toys, clothes and furniture. You can tell him NO YOU DON'T TOUCH THAT. Give him 3 times of saying no or UH UH and then put him on time our or in the corner. If he is screaming sit him in a safe place and walk away until he stops. He knows that screaming usually gets him his way. No is always hard for kids. My daughter is 7 months and hears it and she will either stop and look at me or start screaming like your son. We give her 3 chances and then we pop her on the hand so she knows she can not touch that item. If she is fine with her stuff we don't say no.

    Answer by brailynsmama08 at 8:44 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • We tell our 1 year old no and he listens. If he doesn't move on to something else I move him, or give him a toy or something else to distract him. But most of the time I say no and he stops.

    Answer by MommaM2 at 8:47 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Get down on his level. Look him in the eyes and gently tell him, "mommy said no, no!" . If he stops give him a smile and a hug. If he doesn't, take his hand and gently smack it and say, "Mommy said no!" . He'll get the message quickly.

    Answer by 4kidsandadog at 9:02 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I agree with 4kidsandadog. Pop his hand when you say no. He needs to know that you are the adult, you run things and not him. The grandparents should be understanding enough that the word "no" applies when raising kids. I'm sure they want their lil grandbaby to be spoiled all the time and I am certain the baby will. But when it comes to parenting they need to let you take the reins.

    Answer by lilbit022009 at 9:05 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • He has developed a classic case of "no deafness". Everything to his young mind appears off limits, since he hears "no" so often. He doesn't automatically know that he shouldn't reach for everything shiny and breakable. Instead of telling him "no" tell him "yes" by telling him what he can do. For example, if he reaches for something to throw tell him in a very short answer "no throw. Then hand him a pillow and say "yes, throw". And let him throw the pillow. If he reaches for your drink tell him "no drink" and hand him his cup "yes, drink". If he jumps on the couch and you don't want him to, pick him up, place him on a pile of blankets and simply say "jump". He will learn then what he DOES have reasonable access to.

    Answer by kara_g. at 10:09 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • a one year old should be redirected to a better option. Instead of no you may want to tell him We don't throw that... it is never to early to start telling him why things are not done. A no once in a while is not a bad thing.

    Saying No and then not redirecting a toddler...that will lead to the child doing it again. See it with you there. You want to do something, someone tells you No and now you are standing there thinking what next? Give him something else to do.

    Toddlers are learning to be self sufficient. Help him reach the goal. Constant Nos and no redirection will leave a child depending on their parents for everything.

    Answer by BoobooHealer at 10:20 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Stop telling him NO. He is still a baby. He needs to be redirected and to be shown what is acceptable behavior. He will not learn what is appropriate if he isn't taught. Some things have to be learned through natural consequences. For example: you tell him that if he jumps on the couch he will fall and get hurt. He won't understand until he does fall off the couch. If he is hitting, tell him "Hand are for hugs. Gentle touches." Show him what a gentle touch is. If he throws toys or books, say " Books are for reading. Toys are for playing". You also need to talk to your parents that he must be taught what is acceptable to do. NO, is perfect for when he is going to do something dangerous.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:45 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Nothing wrong with saying no, you hear no don't you? However at this age...and with your parents butting in perhaps redirection would work better. Just get him away from whatever it is he is doing that he shouldn't be and get him interested in something else. At this age kids are very distractable so you should have an easy time of it. Kids who never hear no turn out spoiled rotten brats and are in for a rude rude awakening when they start having friends or go to school.

    Answer by salexander at 10:47 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • This is what works for us: I say no to my DD and she learned early that when things are off limits, then she shouldn't touch or go near them. I just say NO in a deep, loud voice, and she turns away or stops dead in her tracks and finds something else to do. I say "good job" or "good listening!" No hitting/spanking necessary. If she doesn't respond right away, I just re-direct her attention to something else. That's it. :)

    Answer by ThaMCE at 11:00 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

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