Some days with our toddlers and children feel like they are filled with events which aren’t going well… the children are yelling at each other, or smearing paint on the floor, or hassling the cat, or jumping on the sofa. And we hear ourselves saying ‘No’ for the umpteenth time today… And the children don’t really seem to be listening to us!
Most of us ‘zone out’ if we hear words repeated over and over – meaning that they become less effective in their message because they are overused. ‘No’ may one of those words your child hears too often, and they lean to ignore it.
Do you wish there was another way? Well, here are some other ways to give the message ‘No’, without using that word!
- The first is to tell the child what you want them to DO rather than what to ‘stop’. Instead of saying: ‘No, don’t jump on the sofa’… instead say: ‘Sit on the sofa, chairs are for sitting. If you want to jump let’s go out to the trampoline.’
- Use distraction – Instead of saying: ‘No, don’t do xyz’ instead, ask them could they please get the cloth from the kitchen or get your glasses from the bedroom – most young children are keen to help.
- Give them a choice. ‘Would you like to play Lego blocks now, or go out to the sandpit – you choose’ (to get them away from the dolls they are hassling over.)
- Ask him to move away – ‘Please come here and help me with….’ Or ‘Please move away from Sarah and let’s read this book.’