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he says no constantly...

(14 Posts)
vivie Tue 09-Aug-05 14:00:52

I know all 2 year olds do, but ds1 (2.9) says no to EVERYTHING, even things I know he loves and wants. Yesterday he was being good, and we had time so I said we could visit the train station on the way home and see the trains (he loves trains), but he said 'no I don't want to'. I asked if he was sure and he said he was. We went anyway, and he had a great time. Do other 2yos do this? He also contradicts absolutely everything I say, he even argued that our black cat is white the other day. Apart from being infuriating, he's going to miss out on good things if this carries on, and it's hard to reward good behaviour or offer incentives because he says he doesn't want any treats. This has been going on for a few weeks now. Anyone got any ideas for changing the behaviour or at least phrasing my questions a bit better? Thanks.

fisil Tue 09-Aug-05 14:01:59

make statements rather than questions?

Nbg Tue 09-Aug-05 14:05:04

Maybe if you ask him a question and he replies no don't do what you were going to IYKWIM.

So for example with the trains if he said no then don't take him.
I do this with dd. She has cottoned on now, like today I asked her if she wanted a yoghurt and she said no so I said, ok then and turned round to put it back in the fridge and she said yes about 6 times!

Mum2girls Tue 09-Aug-05 14:19:38

Where poss, give him a choice - for example say "do you want peas or carrots' or "do you want to wear the blue top or the red one'. 9 times out of 10, this works with my 2yo who is also obsessively negative.

Sugarmag Tue 09-Aug-05 22:21:37

I think Nbg has the right answer. Next time he says no to something you know he wants, say "ok, no (fill in the blank) for you" and watch how quickly he back tracks. My ds does the EXACT same thing. He is a very sweet, easy-going boy but at 25 months old every reply is "I don't want to". "time for your bath", I say (which he loves) ... "I don't want to". "Ok, no bath for you". "Yes, I have bath now!" Works (nearly) every time. Also, maybe just let the silly stuff go without bothering to argue - if he says the cat is white then let the cat be white.

Lizita Tue 09-Aug-05 22:57:34

Is it ok then once they kick up a fuss if you stick to their no to eg give the yoghurt to them anyway after they backtrack? This happens sometimes with my dd and her little tantrum afterwards (if i don't give the yoghurt, to use the eg) does my head in but I'm determinedly sticking with her initial "no"...seems i'm being too cruel then?
Mind you, the reason I started doing that was because it was usually a scenario whereby she didn't know what she wanted, eg she'd say "get down" from her highchair, I'd put her down, she'd wail to be put back up, I'd put her back up and she'd wail to be put down.... grrrr! That's why i started sticking to her initial request.. and saying "DD said get down, so DD is down!"

fisil Wed 10-Aug-05 10:41:42

Lizita, I would stick to the initial "no". I did that this morning.

Do you want raisins on your cereal?


[five minutes later]

Can I have raisins on my cereal?

No, because I have put them away and am now sitting down having my breakfast, and you told me that you didn't want raisins.

[cue wailing and real tears]

And I can't be doing with exchanges like that, and I always figure that if you give in once, then they will try it again and again!

nailpolish Wed 10-Aug-05 10:44:38

i always give a choice too, like "do you want grapes or an apple?" "do you want to go and see the trains or go home and play?" "do you want to wear trousers or a skirt?" etc

KiwiKate Wed 10-Aug-05 11:19:34

I agree 100% Fisil. Lizita, your initial thought of sticking to the "no" is what I do. They need to realise the consequences to their actions (and to their words). When you waver, then they will push for all it is worth because they know they can wear you down.

I agree, that choices are a good idea though - works pretty well for us - but then DS has to stick to the consequences of his choices. He is only 2.3yo, but he knows that he has to live with his choices (and a tantrum is not going to help at all, other than the comment to chose more carefully next time). He doesn't bother with tantrums, and does not try and push our buttons with "no" etc as he knows he has to live with the consequences

vivie Wed 10-Aug-05 14:04:25

Thanks everyone. I'm going to stick to the intial response like you say. What about these then? -

me 'good boy, you've nearly eaten all your toast'
ds1 'no, I haven't' (gets upset)


ds1 'where's daddy?'
me 'he's gone to work'
ds1 'no, he's in the garden' (gets upset)

This how pretty much all our conversations go at the moment, and I'm ignoring it as much as I can, but I'm getting to the point where I don't want to talk to him because I'm so sick of it.

ps I've had a particularly crappy morning because ds1 refused to eat his tea last night and has been hungry and ratty all morning. I asked him to sit at the table and eat his tea, and he said no he didn't want to and went to bed without it.

Caththerese1973 Fri 12-Aug-05 09:41:50

He's just having his little 'negativism' stage and I don't think there is much you can do about it! If you can tell when he REALLY means no, it should not be too much of a problem. Just agree with him if he says his black teddy is white. I'm sure he knows it ISN'T white. 2 y/o s are very anxious to assert independence, and are pleased if someone confirms that they are growing up, even if the context is a bit absurd. My dd (also 2) often asserts that she is 'not little' anymore. Then, if you agree, she wails dismally and says, 'I still am little!' lol

aloha Fri 12-Aug-05 10:09:35

I'ts a phase and it won't last. Don't let it get to you. My tactic was to simply vaguely agree (through firmly gritted teeth) - 'oh, right' 'oh, OK", "Really?"
Or to change the subject altogether - 'Oh look, a monkey' (yes I know, it won't be a monkey!)
And to try to use humour to defuse the subject - 'Yes! There he is in the garden! He's hiding behind that flower! Daddy! Come out!"
It is utterly infuriating and unreasonable, I know, but arguing with a stubborn two/three year old is pointless as they are loons.
And take charge over important things - 'yes we are going'.

KiwiKate Fri 12-Aug-05 11:01:32

Aloha - LOL at "loons"
Great description!

aloha Fri 12-Aug-05 13:38:48

When all else failed and I was about to go doolally myself I sometimes resorted to tickling, or throwing ds over my shoulder in a fireman's lift and running about. Well, it broke the mood
It is a phase though and it WILL pass....eventually!

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