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2 Bumps

Handling the word "NO!"

I am so fed up with this word. It's all I seem to hear out of my 3 year old now days and I am desperate to break her of this! Just wanted to get some advice from other moms and ideas on how others handle it. Here is a typical conversation between us:

Me: "Heather please stop hitting your brother, that's not nice"
Heather: "NO!"
Me: "Stop telling me no"
Heather: "NO!"
Me: "Heather Elaine you do NOT talk to mommy like that. Do not say NO again"
Heather: "UH UH!" <~~~ her other version of NO!

Its a vicious cycle ALLLLLLL day long and it is driving me bonkers!!


Asked by Ctink8189 at 11:02 AM on Aug. 9, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 21 (11,991 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Heather you may not hit your brother. (no please, no it's not nice, make it a simple order)

    If Heather says No say, Heather you may not hit your brother. (keep the issue hitting the brother)

    Don't let her change the issue to a battle over No. If she hits the brother again say. Heather you may not hit your brother and move her. Be a broken record (you may not hit your brother) with no please and no explaination.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:25 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • sounds crazy..but I have a longtime friend with 6 kids and her goal when she started having kids was to never tell them No. And she doesn't she always reworks her phrasing to not use the word No. It works...and I guess that is why she and Brian can handle 6 kids in the house. She reworks requests of her children to turn everything into a positive or yes answer.
    Me: "Heather Elaine you do NOT talk to mommy like that. Do not say NO again<<<<<<<

    Answer by jewjewbee at 11:10 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • First of all... it's totally normal since she is trying to (developmentally) distinguish between where she stops and other people start. Her saying "NO" is simply her asserting that she is her own self. Plus it means you're paying attention to her (she doesn't care that it's negative attention).

    Now that the brain is satisfied... the heart... which is much harder to reason with :)
    Have you tried switching from time outs to positive reinforcement (like a sticker chart) that focuses on her positive behavior (that you want to encourage). I'm sure that it is very frustrating to hear NO all day. I know in our house (we have a much younger child) we tried redirecting instead ("NO" doesn't mean much around here). We try (I emphasize TRY) to reserve "NO" for really important things like hitting, touching a hot stove or at the sidewalk.

    Hope that helps! Good LUCK!

    Answer by terpmama at 11:24 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Time outs, when used properly, are very effective. So are other forms of punishment. All punishment should be used as teaching tools - that is, in conjunction with actions that model and instruct good behavior. Punitive actions do indeed reduce and/or eliminate bad behaviors.

    Answer by Gaccck at 6:37 PM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • well, other than just talking, what other forms of discipline have you tried?
    time out
    taking toys away

    Answer by DarkFaery131 at 11:04 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Sorry I should have included that. We do time outs, which can sometimes last 30 minutes at a time because that's how long it takes me to get her to actually sit there and keep her mouth shut. I also take her little TV out of her room. Things like this only make her angry, she doesn't seem to be learning anything from it because the second she's out of timeout she finds herself right back in timeout for doing the same thing!

    Comment by Ctink8189 (original poster) at 11:06 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • like that statement above...she would say something like
    " Heather you will address your mother in a respectful manner today and the two of us are going to have a good day" and then she continues to ask questions that only allow a yes answer. seems hard to me but it works for them.

    Answer by jewjewbee at 11:12 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • Time outs are a form of punishment. Punishments don't stop bad behavior and they don't teach good behavior. They teach kids to behave worse, lie, and resent their parents. It sounds like you are finding this with your child.

    Here is a famous article about the foolishness of saying no and toddlers



    Answer by Gailll at 11:15 AM on Aug. 9, 2010

  • A good toddler discipline book is Love & Limits by Elizabeth Crary. Her website is called star parenting. Here is a parening chart you can print out and post on your fridge.


    Answer by Gailll at 11:17 AM on Aug. 9, 2010