My husband and I have tried to refrain from saying ‘no’ too much to our 20 month old son. The big thing for me was that I wanted him to feel that he could do a lot of things. So we have set up our living room in a way that gives him pretty free reign to limit the number of ‘no’s’ he encounters.
I also want him to understand that when we do say no we really mean it. We say it for things that are dangerous or that he must do – no negotiations.
Lastly, I didn’t want him walking around saying ‘no’ to everything. I’ve seen first hand how annoying that can be.
But he’s a fast learner and after being at my parents place last weekend he picked it up pretty quickly. I asked my parents and my sister to try not to say ‘no’ too much, but it’s pretty natural to say it, so he heard it an awful lot.
All week he’s been walking around going ‘no no no’ and you know what, it’s actually the cutest thing. It’s the way he says it. It’s in a small, high pitched voice with a bit of an inflection. And everything is ‘no’.
Are you hungry? (As he reaches for a banana) – no.
Do you want to go outside? (As he’s trying to put his shoes on) – no.
Do you want to watch a show? (His most favourite thing in the whole world) – NO.
And he has these little conversations with himself where the only decipherable word is ‘no’.
So when he says no and I know he means yes, I just repeat, yes? He responds, no, but that’s ok. There are worse things 🙂