Let me tell you, I have recently discovered a secret in dealing with my 2 yr old, and my 4 yr old as well. It seems that most children can’t stand to hear the word no. In fact, as with a lot of 2 yr olds, mine included, sometimes tantrums erupt at the sound of the letter N. It doesn’t seem to matter what I was going to say after that or what it was about. So, I have decided to take that word out of my vocabulary as much as possible with the little ones. I try to figure out how to tell them no without actually saying “No.” The results have been wonderful!
When one of them asks to go outside or have some candy and I don’t want them to right now, a lot of times, I will say, “Yes,” and this keeps them listening! I say, “Yes, you can after lunch,” or “Yes, after you clean up your mess,” which is something that is acceptable to me. Of course having patience has a lot to do with being able to hold back some no’s, which I attribute to lots of answered prayer. Patience is key in dealing with children. I have learned through lots of mistakes that all it takes is one harsh or impatient word to turn on the tears or stubbornness, to make any situation more difficult.
The other night my daughter woke up in the middle of the night crying and when I went to check on her in bed, she wanted a specific sippy cup that she had earlier and I had no idea where it was. I couldn’t believe she woke me up for that! The first thing out of my mouth was, “No!” What a huge mistake! She went into a tantrum crying even harder and I thought, what are you doing to yourself lady? Did you forget your rule? It took me a little while to calm her down and talk myself out of it and the word “no” did not come out of my mouth again. I tried to recover with, “Yes, we will look for it in the morning.” I will have to work on my patience when being woken in the middle of the night.
In all honesty, I do have to tell my children no sometimes, but I try to save that for when I really mean no, or there is a safety issue and no working my way around the word no. Of course this tactic doesn’t work all the time, especially for the older child who sort of “gets it,” that in all reality, they are being told no and for that moment they are not getting their way. But, it has helped keep some peace in our family and I am going to stick with it for as long as it lasts, until I have to figure out how to deal with the next stage!