Why I Limit the ‘NO’ Word!

When I tell other parents that I rarely tell my kids ‘no’, they initially think I am BoNkErs! How on earth can I get through my day without telling my kids NO? The reasons are not what you think. I still think it is important that they understand how to deal with authority figures; that is a fact of life. However, during the early days of development, I only limit my ‘No’s for times of danger or harm (e.g. touching the hot stove, walking towards the street…. Things like that). I want to ensure that when they hear me say “NO!”, I mean it and it is not so desensitized because they hear it ALL. DAY. LONG! When I don’t want them doing something, I just rephrase it to what they SHOULD be doing. If you are telling them what they should be doing, this is teaching them the replacement behavior (e.g. “Sit down”, “come here”, “Walk, please” etc.). These phrases are more directive, objective, and they are more aware of their expectations. Also, my kids rarely tell me no because they rarely hear it in their environment! However, if I could get my kids to tell my dog no when she eats their snacks, that would be amazing lol. Still haven’t figured out how to train that living creature!

Kid beach walk noMy next series will go through different scenarios on how I implement replacement behaviors instead of just using reprimands or saying NO! This typically results in a decrease of challenging behaviors and a much happier child… Win-Win!

3 Replies to “Why I Limit the ‘NO’ Word!”

  1. I need to work on this with Jax. Also, any suggestions on no hitting and no pushing or wrestling his sister 😁

  2. Marni, there may be multiple reasons as to why Jax is hitting. I always suggest to first observe what is happening in that moment. Are you giving attention to Hannah or Aiden (i.e. attention is taken away from him)? Did Hannah just take a toy away (denied access)? Or, is it because he doesn’t want to do something (escaping demands). By trying to figure out the WHY, it is a lot easier to provide suggestions that are appropriate for that behavior. So, for the time being, see if you can observe any trends :). It could just be that he wants to “play rough” and he needs to be taught what is appropriate and not appropriate play for “wrestling”.

  3. Exactly! With 5 little people I feel like I am constantly coaching myself and siblings to judiciously use the N word! I want “no” to be meaningful so we try to sensitize them by using it infrequently as well . . . then when we use it, it works the way it is supposed to!

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