When “NO” becomes your little one’s favorite word

By now it is likely that you have experienced or are experiencing the “NO” phase– a stage in which it seems that your little one can only say the word “no”.

If you are in this phase, we have good news for you. It is normal and you can help your little one get past it.

The first thing you should know is that this phase usually occurs when your little one is between one and a half and two and a half. At this age, children begin to want to make decisions and use their independence and this is part of their normal development. In their attempt to feel independent and autonomous, little ones constantly resort to “no”.

Despite how annoying it may be for you, it is important that you know that this skill is very useful because in the future it will allow your little one to communicate their opinions, refuse something they don’t agree with, and even protect themselves at times when they are asked to do something that is not right.

To prevent this stage from turning into one filled with fights and tension between you and your little one, we have the following recommendations for you:

  • Avoid asking your little one yes or no questions. Instead of asking them if they want to go somewhere, tell them that you are going to go there. Do you want to wear sneakers or boots?
  • Explain to your little one why you want them to do something. Give them more information about what they are going to do and why it is important for them to do it.
  • Do the things you want your little one to do yourself. At this stage little ones imitate what their parents do, so if you want your little one to eat fruit, for example, eat some yourself.
  • Try to create games or fun activities that motivate your little one to do something. If you want your little one to let you help them put on their pajamas, for example, make up a game in which the pajamas are a suit.
  • Congratulate your little one every time they do something they don’t want to do. Celebrate your little one’s achievements to keep them motivated.

Remember to consult your pediatrician for more information.

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