Dealing with No

I thought I'd share what worked for us when Victoria went through a "no" phase at 3. She'd always been a pretty helpful girl and suddenly I'd be nicely asking her for something and she'd defiantly say "No!".

What I started doing was using humor to give her real life situations of what would happen if other people that we depended on would start saying no. I'd say things like, "What if we were in drive-thru at McDonalds and we asked for a cheeseburger for you and the worker said 'No! I don't feel like making a cheeseburger!' Would that be okay?" and "What if we got on an airplane and the pilot said, 'No, I'm not going to fly the plane, I don't feel like it.'" We'd laugh and roll our eyes and she'd say "No, that wouldn't be okay!" with a grin. She started asking me to tell her no stories. I talked about fire fighters, doctors, Walmart employees, you name it. Then I talked about how we all rely on each other to help each other out. When she slipped and said no, I'd give a little smile and ask her what the world would be like with lots of no's.

The stage passed, she seemed to realize that it wasn't just her being asked to do stuff she didn't really want to do, and I think she felt more like a part of the world-- and even the adult world. Now we do get "Just a minute" sometimes but it's much better. :)

She loves when we sit and talk about things, whether it's examples of why you'd call 911, how vegetables help your body, or why certain behavior is important. So we use a lot of talk (mixed with humor and interesting what-ifs) to teach the majority of our life lessons.

To the Article Index

All works on this site Alicia Bayer unless otherwise noted.
Don't take it - that would be rude.