Disciplining your little one is never an easy task. Especially when you are new to parenthood. It can sometimes even be heartbreaking. Telling your toddler “no” is one of the easiest forms of discipline. However, saying “no” the wrong way can cause long-term damage, but doing it the right way can make your child happy and give you long-term relief. Here are some effective tips on saying “no”.
Try these 6 short sentences to substitute for “no”.
1. “I know you like ice cream, but eating too much is not good”
It is often that parents deny certain junk food requests, like ice cream and candy, by offering a healthier alternative, such as yogurt. Avoid the promise of “maybe tomorrow,” Dr. Walsh says. “Toddlers can’t comprehend time very well, so it doesn’t make sense to tell them exactly when in the future they will get ice cream. So the parents need to calmly, firmly, and warmly offer the healthy snack in spite of a toddler’s protests.” This way, your toddler still gets a treat, but a better, healthier option.
2. “Food is for eating, not for flinging”
You will notice most toddlers tend to play with food. This could be because they are still full from a previous meal, or they just want to get back to play. The food then becomes a toy. Instead of shouting as your toddler plays with a bowl filled with food, simply take the bowl away and explain the reason why he shouldn’t throw food. If he stops playing without protest, acknowledge the good behavior with a compliment.
3. “Can mommy have the phone? You can have this toy instead”
As little kids are curious of almost everything they come across, your kid may want to hold your mobile phone whenever it rings. Try giving your child a small and engaging toy instead the next time she tries to grab the phone.
4. “Leave your shoes on. We take our shoes off only at home”
Your toddler just began wearing shoes and he makes every attempt to take them off. Instead of saying “stop taking your shoes off,” instead explain what you want him to do as the above-mentioned.
5. “We use our words, not our hands”
In many instances, toddler is expressing their frustrations or seeing attention when they hit someone, often the siblings. By saying “No hitting please”, that doesn’t make any progress as a toddler’s capacity to understand what it means to hit others is very limited. As the parents, it is important that you immediately stop the action and calmly state what you want them to do.
6. “Don’t knock down Legos. Let me show you how to play”
If your curious toddler decides to destroy his big brother’s Lego tower, it’s not always a sign of jealousy — at least not consciously, explains Fran Walfish. “He may simply see the Lego building and think that it would be fun to knock it down,” Dr. Walfish says. Now you can ask your toddler if you can join in and show him how to play with others.