The big bad I said No

Recently I've felt that all I've said to Monkey is no. M is such a mobile, independent little man and he's started to explore his boundaries. I feel we've done quite a good job of baby proofing, but there are still places around the house that little fingers shouldn't be.

As much as I try to find another way to explain why M shouldn't be hitting the television or putting his hands down the toilet, the first word that finds its way to my lips is no. Monkey knows that no is a word that means he should stop doing something. When you say it he looks at you and more often than not, stops what he is doing.

But there are also times that he looks at you, whilst his bottom lip quivers and big fat tears roll down his cheeks. I hate those times. I scoop him up and tell him why Mama said no and give him a cuddle and stroke his head. I spend the next hour feeling awful, wondering if there's an alternative to disciplining our little man.

I'm very much in the exploration camp, I want M to learn that actions have consequences and sometimes they aren't good ones. But I don't want him getting hurt, like any loving parent should feel. But children of his age are learning every minute, like little sponges, absorbing something, every waking moment.

Do you find yourself saying no a lot? Any suggestions on different ways to steer him from dangerous situations?


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. susan d Reply

    We have dealt with and are dealing with our son in a few ways. It works for us but you will find your own way. No that’s naughty and a warning – if you do that again you’ll go on the naughty step. If it happens again on the naughty step for 1min for ea yr of life. We go down to his level and in a calm voice explain why they are there. Then they say sorry and we hug and tell each other we love each other. If they come off the step the time starts again. We don’t interact with him when he is on the step. It does break my heart when he cries and shouts for me but in the long run I know he will grow up to be a better person. I’ve even made a naughty spot out in public. I stand next to him but make no eye contact or interact in anyway. He isn’t perfect don’t get me wrong but these days the warning is enough.

  2. Kim Carberry Reply

    Ohh I say it a hundred times a day….lol I try not to be a negative person but sometimes no is the only response….
    Just wait until he can question why you’re saying no…Then the fun will really start…hehehe ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  3. Lauren Reply

    I say it ALL. THE. TIME.
    Charles used to do the crying thing, and still does. Harry will laugh.
    Someone once said that no is a bad word and instead you should say “don’t do that because…” which I can kind of understand but when a vase is about to be poked at and knocked over I don’t have time to explain.
    You mustn’t feel awful. You are doing the best for him (and for your belongings too) and it is all about learning. You can never 100% baby-proof your house xx

  4. Kelly finn Reply

    Eeeek! No tips I’m afraid. I have pretty much the same post as this in my drafts :-/
    Sorry. Useless comment!

  5. Carie Reply

    If there’s time before crisis and disaster I try to go for a “please don’t … Because…” but sometimes it has to be stop or no for their protection, or someone else’s as in “no, stop, we do not colour in our baby sister with a felt tip pen!”

  6. jo Reply

    I trained myself to not say ‘no’ (as well as swearing), and would do the ‘we don’t do this thank you’ sort of way, if only so her first word wasn’t ‘no’ – it seemed to work (but was really hard). Good luck!

  7. Charlotte - Write Like No One's Watching Reply

    William is at this stage too, as Monkey walked so early, I often feel like they are the same age! William is constantly doing things he shouldn’t and ‘no’ is a word that will always make him cry. I feel so bad saying it – but I’m always trying to explain why. In fact – now, when he’s doing something naughty, he will stop and throw the item on the floor (like a remote control) and stare at me sadly. I hate that! But how else do I protect him? So hard! xxx

  8. Kayleigh Reply

    We feel like no is constantly coming from our lips too. We use the naughty spot for Lachlan and have since he was a year old. He knows he’s done wrong if he gets sat there. It’s not supposed to work as a deterrent to naughty behaviour until they are older but we have found it works for Lachlan just fine. We explain why he was put there and ask for an apologetic cuddle and kiss. It works well for us ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  9. Aida Reply

    that is hard, Harry is right up there as well. Daddy D. started to count 3,2,1 after saying no to something that tis dangerous. If he doesnโ€™t stop then he gets up, hold his hand and walks him away from it. Lill guy does think it is a game but will walk away most times when the countdown starts. I find particularly hard as you can’t sound too soft but I donโ€™t want us to sound angry either. I just hope that standing my ground now will mean the horrible twos wonโ€™t be that horrible…dreaming is free after all ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. sarah Reply

    this age id just go with distraction. Give them something else to play with or a loud ‘OH HEY LOOK AT THIS!!” or gasp and point at something. limitations are important and babies do need to know what they should and shouldn’t touch but cause and effect is a pretty difficult concept for a baby. Or just limit access to it with a stair gate or whatever and thats that. When they are older and can question you is when it starts getting interesting!

  11. Emma Reply

    I always say no. In fact, Alice’s first word/words were “no no no no”. She even waggled her finger at me! Her second word was “naughty”.
    I used to feel like you, but I tell you what. Now Alice is 18 months old and has become even more of a terror, I am SO thankful that she understands no. And 9 times out of 10 she listens. 1 times out of 10 we have a mini tantrum. But when we are in the park and she goes to hit another child or do something dangerous, the fact that I can say firmly and loudly NO and she actually listens and stops what she is doing is amazing! I feel far more in control of her and able to keep her safe.
    I think discipline is one of those “tough love” choices we have to make as parents. But I think if you can just stick it out and be firm but fair, you really will see the benefits!
    And the day you do something wrong and your little toddler comes running over to you, finger waggling, yelling no no no will be the FUNNIEST moment of your life! I guarantee it! xx

  12. Katie @mummydaddyme Reply

    I think distraction is definitely a good tactic. But it is hard and it only gets worse, although now I say no a lot cause she is being a diva! ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  13. Sarah Reply

    The only thing I say to Thomas is no at the minute I can’t wait until he understands what I mean. All I get in return is the biggest cheekiest grin you’ve ever seen and I have to turn away and quietly chuckle to myself because I don’t want him to think it’s funny. Something else he does is when I pull him away from things is he throws himself around on the floor crying. I don’t want to be too tough on him as hes only 14months but like you say he needs to learn things are naughty or dangerous

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.