saying no.


I couple months ago, I think I had a draft written (but never published) about how it was hard for me to say No to my baby-faced toddler. Not because I felt bad saying it, though. He cried so friggin' much since the day he was born, and if a simple yes to Pepsi could stop the crying, he had it.

Now? He's the one in charge. He tells Matt & I No more frequently than he breathes air. And it's not the type of innocent, cute rebellion a new toddler has just because it's one of the first words in his vocabulary. He says no to Screams it. Bloody murder's it. It's turning into a blatant disrespect thing. I'm having a hard time using the word disrespect in regard to Carter because he doesn't even know what that is, but that's the only way to describe it. Every task is a battle receiving no consideration.

My instinct for the past day or so has been to put him in time out whenever he yells no at me. I let him skirt it if he happens to say No, thanks (once). I'm nervous I've turned Nazi, not even allowing the child his own opinion about baths, meals, shoes ... but when does the point come where he has to learn to respect his parents? Shouldn't it start now?



  1. I say trust your instincts. You know what's have done great so far. Bottom line...KIDS LOVE BOUNDRIES even if they rebel from them;)

  2. Super nanny changed me!! Hope you have seen that show!!

  3. I've been reading your blog for a little while now (I love it by the way) but just had to comment on this one.
    First off, I feel your pain. As someone who used to be a teacher to little kids, they learn very quickly the power of the word 'no' and it's tricky because there isn't always an obvious way to go once they say no and are standing their ground.
    You're completely right, respecting his parents should begin now. My little guy is only 11 months old but I am always firm with him if he does something that we don't like. That way respect isn't something that they learn, more something that just is.
    You're the parent, you're the boss. So do what feels right for you. And if you're consistent then he'll soon learn where the boundaries are and will be happier because of it. x

  4. My son is the same age as Carter and we have recently gone through the same thing along with a lot of hitting also. We implemented the rime out chair (even if it only lasts less than a minute) and he then has to go say sorry to whoever he was mean to and the hitting and temper tantrums are very far and few between. Consistency is key

  5. As a teacher, and someone who has worked in daycare as well, I know that being consistent is THE single most difficult thing about parenting or any kind of child-rearing.

    Carter is entering the age where he's going to start expressing his own opinion and ideas. Now IS the time to start disciplining him and TEACHING him to respect you and your husband. He won't like it at all, but all children crave consistency and boundaries. If there are no boundaries, they will constantly push to find where the boundaries are- that's just human nature.

    A time out chair or "corner" is a good way to show him that there are consequences for not behaving, but also be sure to let him know what IS good and acceptable behavior. Practice giving him simple instructions (like- "Put your train in the toybox, Carter" and encourage him to say "yes ma'am/sir/mommy/daddy" and praise him when he does what he's told. Try to double the amount of correction you give with praise for what he's doing right.

    Good luck, this won't always be easy, but just remember that you are doing this because you love him and want him to grow up to be a productive citizen who respects authority. <3

  6. You are doing the right thing. Now is the time to set boundries. Keep going Momma. No one wants to feel like a bad guy, but you do these things because you love them.

  7. Loving your honest blogs lately btw. My 16 month old Jake's first word is "no". Eeep! My inexperienced and unwanted (lol) advice would be to give him options instead of asking yes or no questions... like "Do you want the potato or the pumpkin?" I also read somewhere not to say "no" to him yourself.. unless you absolutley have to. Which I am finding really difficult!! haha

  8. Two books, "You're Not The Boss of Me"- Braun and "Happiest Toddler On the Block"-Karp They have changed the way I talk to my toddler and her tantrums have been cut in half if not more. Give them a look it might help you out.

  9. This is a little random, but I just want to say something. I have been on leave the past two weeks so I have been bored everyday with nothing to do. I have been on your blog a lot and I have been reading older posts. I have noticed a lot of people who think you are rich and spoiled because of your house, clothes, trip to Paris, etc. I just want to reiterate what you already know. Those people are stupid and insecure. Ever since I joined the Army and started getting real pay checks, I have realized that you can do a lot with a little bit of money. It doesn't take very long to save a couple grand to take a trip out of the country. Financing a car and making monthly payments isn't that hard. If you are good with money, and you can budget, and pay bills responsibly, in the end you can get good credit and and nice things. You don't have to be a millionaire. All you have to do is work hard and stay focused. I bet your parents are very proud of you for growing into the woman that you are. You only deserve happiness. Everyone can have nice things. It's all about your priorities. If you see yourself as poor and worthless you will certainly live a poor and worthless life.

  10. I love the honesty of this post. I'm having a hard time deciding whether to make this comment, as I don't want to offend in any way.

    Carter is such a bright, beautiful and obviously happy little boy. I think you are doing a WONDERFUL job. I've been following you for quite some time and love seeing Carter grow and advance. I really hope what I have to say isn't offensive to you. I say it because sometimes outside observations can be helpful to us. If you disagree, please disregard this comment and accept my sincere apologies. There have been some, not a lot but some, posts that have lead to me not being surprised at this post. Just the odd comment you might have made about his reactions to certain situations etc. It does seem to me like there is a 'respect' issue. I use the word respect loosely because I don't think a child of Carter's age is fully able to be disrespectful, but I think you know what I mean. It seems to me like Carter is used to getting his own way for the sake of peace and quiet. And this is SO common. It does NOT make you a bad parent. It's an incredibly easy habit to fall into and you seem very aware of this and determined to change it, which is awesome and so admirable. But as an outsider looking in, yes, I do think you're right to be concerned. He's such a sweet little boy. It's never fun to hear your baby cry or be unhappy with a situation, but it's necessary to his development and character. In 15 years time you will not regret telling him no and hearing him cry himself into the realization that he can't have what he wants because he throws a tantrum. But you will regret NOT doing it if he becomes completely unmanageable/entitled. You are absolutely right, Meghann, it SHOULD start now. And I'm confident you'll have no problem turning this around. I hope this was helpful!