Thursday, April 12, 2012

No means No (and maybe means yes)

Maybe doesn't always mean yes, but that's just something I use to always say when I was little :)

How do you teach a 3 year old that no really means no??  My son is a typical toddler that likes to say "No" or "Nope" to pretty much anything and everything (even if it actually is something that he wants).  The past few weeks he will say he wants something (sometimes throwing a fit, sometimes not), so we will ask "Do you want ____?" And he will say, "Nope!" So I will put that item away or say, "Ok" and walk away.  Then he yells and throws a big fit because he really did want that thing.  So then we would usually give him that item (or whatever it is) after asking him again if he wants it, to which he will say "Yes".  This does not seem to be the wisest way to handle this, nor is it making situations like these any better-they just continue to consistently happen throughout the day.

Today I decided that if he acts like he wants something and I ask him if he wants it and he says no, then I will not give him that item no matter even if he throws a fit about it.  I think the previous way we were handling it was just making him learn that if he wants something then all he needs to do is throw a fit and he will get what he wants.  I DO NOT want a child that throws fits and acts rude when he doesn't get what he wants.

I tried this, this afternoon and it was quite the scream fest.  With my son screaming that is, not me-I was very proud of myself that I kept my cool, though I did have to raise my voice a few times.  Anyway, after he said "No" to wanting milk, I put it back in the fridge, to which he started screaming and crying.  I told him that if he wanted it he needed to ask nicely.  He kept screaming  and saying "Nope" so I told him that I was going upstairs until he wanted to be nice and ask nicely.  That mad him even more mad and he followed me upstairs.  I tried to talk to him and help him calm down but he didn't want me near him, even though he kept saying, "Mom Mom!!"  I eventually had to put him in the corner for talking rude, then he finally calmed down after a while.  It was such a long, semi-frustrating ordeal.  I am just wondering if any of you have any tips or suggestions for me on what to do in situations like these.  I'm all about getting advice and learning new parenting techniques.  Thanks in advance!

I would also like to add that during all of this I wanted to just scream and yell at him and lock myself alone in my room  for some peace and quiet, but I resisted.  I've really been working hard on not getting so upset with my son and having patience.  It is VERY hard at times, and sometimes I don't fully succeed, but I'm making progress.  It just takes recognizing and knowing when you are getting near your boiling point.  When I am more aware that I am starting to get really upset sometimes just stepping away from the situation for a minute or so helps me to stay calm.  I can't always step away from the situation, so it just takes a lot will power (and TONS of practice) to just tell myself "stay calm, don't freak out, stay calm".  I really do say this to myself over and over.  Sometimes it's okay to talk to yourself-right? :)  Another thing that helps me is I'm always so embarrassed and upset with myself when I freak out and act like a toddler myself, that and I don't want to have to tell my husband how I acted negativly.  I much more enjoy telling him how I kept calm and handled the situation like the adult that I am!
So if you tend to lose your patience quickly with your children, or anyone else, just remember that it takes a lot of practice to have patience.  Don't give up or get down on yourself, just take a breather and try again!  And it's okay to take a few minutes to "cool off" after a major meltdown from your child.


  1. Brittany,
    I totally understand. Marek doesn't really do that to me unless he is tired or super hungry.
    but any time he is throwing a fit i have taught him that he is going to need to go to his bed and lay down until he calms down and ask nice. and he has to say sorry.
    he is actually doing really good with it :)
    even now sometimes if he is mad he will go in his room with out me asking. lol
    we tried having him stand in the corner, but he wont do that for me, only his dad. so i have him go to bed.
    I hope your plan works, cant wait to hear more.
    parenting sure is a learning thing :)

  2. I was going to suggest the same thing as the lady before. To put him in his room when he is throwing a fit. My nephew has learned that when he is freaking out, his bedroom is a safe place for him to calm down. He has come to the point where he monitors himself. You can also look into a parenting style called Love and Logic. I love the technic it has of giving choices.

    1. Thanks ladies :)
      I put him in his room, but he just comes out. The corner actually works really well for him, I love it!
      Teresa-I have heard of Love and Logic and it's great!! I need to finish reading the book and do better at applying it in our home. Did you know they have love and logic classes at the library here?