No, I don’t like that!
No, I don’t want to do this!
No, I can’t do that!
No, I want daddy to do it!
No, I can do it!
No, no, no, no, no!
The Boy will be six in May and up until now, has been a relatively passive child. Lately however, he’s started digging his heels in on every possible occasion, even though often, the word comes out as a default response rather than an actual desire! This relatively sudden change has caught me totally off guard as I honestly thought that the ‘no’ stage was reserved for toddlers. Of course we went through the usual ‘no being a new and very powerful word’ stage, during toddlerhood, but this was relatively short lived and mostly ignored (being child number three!). I think it’s the ‘mind-changing’ that is truly driving me insane, the saying ‘no’ for the sake of just being awkward, it’s definitely attention seeking, all the way! For example, he loves bath time but you can guarantee that at the moment, when you ask if he’d like a bath, the immediate, without hesitation response, will be “No!”. More annoyingly than that is the fact that within the next 20 minutes (just about bedtime), he will change his mind and then have a full-on paddy, when it’s too late!
I’ve definitely been on a steep learning curb over the last couple of months so here are my top tips for dealing with Mr (or Mrs) No!
1. Stick to your guns.
Don’t make empty threats. If they say ‘no’ and you decide on a consequence of that decision make sure you follow through. With the bath situation above, the Boy was told that if he didn’t have a bath now, there wouldn’t be time later. Despite the imminent paddy, when he changed his mind, I stuck to what I had said and let him strop! I won’t lie, he didn’t learn quickly but after a couple of missed baths, he got there!
2. If you say no to me, I’m going to say no to you.
This is a little trick I have learned which has worked with all of mine! If they refuse to do something, I will say ‘ok then, in that case, when you need help, I won’t be able to help you’. I will then follow that up by refusing their next request for a drink, snack, reaching a toy etc but give them the option to do whatever they had refused to do earlier in exchange for my help. This soon teaches a bit of give and take, encouraging the kids to help each other out as well as me!
3. Try to avoid questions and use statements instead.
If you want something done now, try using a statement incorporating something your child likes to do. Instead of saying ‘Could you get dressed now please?’ Say, “Let’s get dressed and then we can have breakfast/ go and feed the ducks/ play etc. I found that taking the focus off of what I want him to do, avoids an argument about it.
4. Have clear, unchanging rules.
This is a bit more general and obviously helps with discipline in the broader context. Kids love routine, they might tell you otherwise but they thrive best when the rule stay the same and are enforced. Yes, they will push and break the rules but if you change the rules, to suit the situation or you, they will push you even further next time.
5. Reward the yes.
When they finally (however occasionally!) tow the line and say yes immediately, praise and reward to reinforce that behaviour. I made the mistake of not doing this until it was pointed out to me, it made such a difference with the added bonus of the other two being more eager to do something to help too!
6. Ignore the no.
When they do say ‘no’ it’s usually to gain attention as ‘no’ generally provokes a reaction, so try not to give it. Either use tip 2 or just say ok and walk away. Obviously the situation will dictate if this is possible and you can’t ignore an issue requiring discipline. When The Boy refused to get dressed, I said he could go to school in his pjs, he waited until the last minute and I honestly thought it was going to backfire, then, as the girls were getting on their coats, he raced upstairs and got dressed. I was ready to take his clothes into the car and even to school but I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t get that far!
I’m not suggesting that any of these tips will turn your Mr. No into Mr. Yes overnight, I’ve still got a long way to go! I think consistency is key and like most things in parenting, it takes time and effort plus a fair amount of wine, to finally crack it!
If you have any tips to share, I need all of the help I can get!! If not, please send wine! xx
16 thoughts on “6 Ways To Change Mr.No-Mummy into Mr.Yes-Mummy!”
These are great tips. Most times I don’t accept no as an answer. Mine are spiteful enough to go to school in their pajamas. But sticking to my guns, they soon figure out that when I ask them to do it, they need to do it.
I have hard and fast rules too, it really pays off!
Totally agree with all of these particularly avoiding questions and using statements. I let mine think they have a choice by giving them two options, both of wish I want. ? Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?
Yes- love that idea! Xx
We’re not at that stage yet as Peachy is only 1, but I love these ideas. I’ll file them away in my brain for the future. #FabFridayPost
Thanks or these tips. I really need to work on number 3! Thanks so much for linking up with us and sharing #FabFridayPost
Great tips. I generally do most of these but need to be a bit more consistent with the praise one. Point 3 (statements) isn’t one I’ve consciously considered but looking back I realise that when I have done it it’s worked so need to make more of an effort with this too. I have a two year old who is seriously testing the boundaries and a 7yr old who thinks he’s a teenager so plenty of opportunities to try these tips out!
Stopping by again from #FabFridayPost
My girl will be a Threeager in April! (Sob!) Today, we went into M&S to get some stuffs. She saw a gigantic Frozen Castle Easter Eggs style on the shelf and within her reach! She said “I want it!”. I said to her calmly as I can that she can’t have it as it is not her birthday yet and she won’t get a birthday party otherwise. Then I pulled a said face at her. She quickly snapped at me: “No! I don’t want a birthday party! I want this!”.
I told her to listen to mummy and repeated what I had just said plus “But there will be no friends coming to your party anymore because you won’t have a birthday party anymore.” I repeated my sad face.
In the past, she would have just sat down on the floor and cried loudly as she could. But today, I made a breakthrough. She slowly said “But I want a party.” I could see her hands dropping the Frozen Castle Easter Eggs down. I opened my hand and she gave it to me. Horrah! It felt Amazing!! I want to jump and dance – but just in case I have hyper up my soon to be threeanger again, I just told her that she was a good listener. She listen well to mummy and we continued to shop in M&S peacefully. Fewww!
Sorry about this, I think I have just written a post! Haha – So that’s my #1,2 & 4 points in a nutshell. lol!
Thank you so much for sharing these great tips with us on #FabFridayPost xx
It’s great when you make a breakthrough like that- well done you!! Makes such a difference when they can be reasoned with! Xx
Great tips. I’ve used the if you say no I say no trick too and followed it up with an explanation as to why I’m saying no. Not sure my 3 year old gets it yet but it’s worked so far #kcacols
Great tips – I will try them on my 2 year old – ‘no’ is his new favourite word! #ablogginggoodtime
Come bathtime my son wld be delighted if he missed a few!
Agree with all points apart from number 2. For me it feels a bit like going to their level but if it works for you …
Sounds like you have strong boundaries on the whole! #KCACOLS
I see what you mean but it does make them realise what saying ‘no’ means, how their actions effect others and a bit of give and take. Thanks for sharing your view xx
Great advice – might book mark this for the future with Snappy! #kcacols
I have an almost six year old doing exactly the same thing! These are fab tips and I always need to remind myself to do them, praising when they listen and do positive so easily can be forgotten but its such a positive tool. I totally use statements there is no point asking a question to my son lol or I give him two potential choices both with positive outcomes so then he does feel he has control. Its such a constant think to maintain though! Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS We hope to see you next Sunday x