Toddler Behavior...

Vanessa - posted on 02/10/2016 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Our Toddler uses the word NO all day, every question I ask him is NO. He throws his food every night at dinner, is this normal? How do you reason with a toddler???

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Raye - posted on 02/10/2016

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It sounds like you have trained him that he needs you in order to fall asleep. Don't let him fall asleep on you. He should be sleepy, but still awake when you put him to bed, so he falls the rest of the way to sleep on his own. Eventually he will get used to that, and not need you when he wakes at night. He will be able to get himself back to sleep.

How old is he? Is he still taking naps during the day? I'm not against letting kids cry it out in some situations, but for this I'm not so sure. If he wakes, and is not needing food or diaper changed, then it may be just habit why he wakes up. Depending on his age, you may need to snuggle him -in HIS room (because he should start associating his room with sleep)- until he's drowsy again, then put him back to bed. You may have some restless nights, but you have to be consistent and try to do it the same way each time (and not give in just to get him to be quiet). Once he's trained to not need you to fall asleep, you both will be much happier.

Raye - posted on 02/10/2016

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The simple fact is that toddlers say "no" because they can. They've just found out that they have a will, and they want to exercise it. You don't necessarily reason with them, you have to redirect the situation to let them appear to have some power.

The best thing is not to ask a yes or no question or give the toddler only one option. Offer two choices. "Do you want to sit on the couch or on the floor?" "Do you want to leave now or grab (specific toy) and then leave?" "Do you want to get in the left side of the car or the right side?" "Do you want to eat your food or have it taken away?" Two choices are enough at this stage, and this technique can be used for everything from getting dressed to solving playdate disputes: "Do you want to play nicely with Timmy, or do you want to play by yourself?"

If he still says "no", then try something different. You: "Do you want juice or milk?" Child "NO". You: "If you don't choose, I will choose for you. Do you want juice or milk?" Child: "NO." You: (calmly) "Okay, you had your chance to decide." At this point, you make the decision and make that the end of it. You can also ask him to choose or you will choose on the count of 3 (or 5, or 10). Sometimes that will get the child to hurry up and decide. But, save this counting technique for last resorts because it loses its power if you use it too often. And, it's perfectly appropriate at times to say "This is not a time when I can give you a choice. There's no choosing now. I know that you don't like this, and I'm sorry, but this is the way it's going to be."

Your toddler might be spouting "no" in part because he constantly hears the word directed at him. If that's the case, try to cut back on your own use of the word and use alternatives to "no" whenever possible, like "It's not safe to play on the stairs, let's play with your blocks instead," "We don't throw food," or "Use your indoor voice, please." If the child is in some danger, such as reaching for a hot pan, it is appropriate for you to yell "NO" to get them to stop quickly. But you can also just yell their name instead.

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Vanessa - posted on 02/10/2016

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He will be 2 years old in April 2016...I know he needs to sleep in his bed...Its my fault for letting him fall asleep on me.

Vanessa - posted on 02/10/2016

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Thank you so much this was so helpful...Also we have tried letting our little one cry it out at night to keep him in crib, but he still fights us at night..Do you suggest crying it out? Our night routine, Bath and then he sits on me and usually falls asleep and we transfer him to crib. Every Night he is awake at 3am calling momma and I try to ignore or I will go in and see if he needs a diaper change and then he will want to lay with us...then no one gets sleep...Thoughts on bed time and keeping them in crib...thank you in advance..

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