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Countering their No’s

Author GreatDad Writers
Submitted 07-03-2007

At first, it may seem a little disconcerting to hear your children say “no.”


As a parent, you should quickly get used to it, as it is soon going to become your child’s favorite word. Saying ‘no’ is sometimes their only way to assert their dominance.


Back-talk, refusals, and tantrums may actually be experiments tried out by your children to explore their limits. They wish to know how many elements they can control in their small and fragile lives.


Things can go wrong if we punish toddlers harshly or unreasonably for bad behavior or for being mischievous. This defeats their purpose, which has a broader scope of helping them discover their individuality. When the punishment is unduly harsh or unreasonable, they feel offended and their conduct gets worse. They are hurt and may then want to hurt back.


Here are some tips to counter this situation and improve your child’s behavior:

  • While setting rules in the house take them into confidence and set  rules that are agreeable to both, the parent and the child.
  • When setting penalties, elicit their agreement.
  •  Make them follow these rules consistently.
  •  Be firm yet gentle and reasonable when enforcing penalties.
  •  Show them how people follow rules in the city, on roads, in gardens etc.
  • Reward them for being good and following the rules.
  • Set rules for yourself to follow as a parent and expose your children to examples of good behavior. 
  • You might be surprised if you give your child the right to call you out when you don’t say please or thank you.