Toddler Tip: YES!

No.  I hear that word in my nightmares.  "No no no no!" is my preschooler's mantra.  These days I could ask her if she wanted a chocolate sunday while riding a pony and watching the movie Frozen and the answer would be. . . "NO!" Why the resistance?  What's with the "nos?"  According to Twigtale's expert Allison LaTona, toddlers and preschoolers use the word no to assert their independence and practice autonomy.  Your child is testing the boundaries and trying to gain some control.  Here are some tips on how to make it through this "no" phase.

1) Choose your battles.  Ok, so your daughter refuses to wear shoes today.  She only wants to wear her bunny slippers.  If it isn't a huge deal, go ahead and say yes.  One day of bunny slippers never hurt anyone.

2) Give choices.  This tip is one we employ constantly in our household.  For example,  instead of "it's time to go to bed" I ask "would you like 2 books or 1 book before bed?" Or instead of "come sit down for dinner" I ask, "do you want to sit next to Mommy or Daddy at dinner?" Allowing your child to make a choice helps them feel empowered and in control.  Even if you really are not giving them many options.

3) Make it fun!  Along with offering choices try to make common tasks fun.  The other night, instead of saying "time to brush your teeth," I asked, "OK, should we brush your teeth while sitting in the closet or while mommy dances to Justin Beiber?"  She chose Beiber.  Mixing it up and making things silly works wonders when combatting the "nos."

Toddler Tip Shared by Carrie Southworth, Twigtale co-founder and mom of 2 young girls.


Toddler Tip: YES! was originally published on April 22, 2014. Modifications to style, arrangement, and linked sources were made on December 14, 2015.