Inside: A very important life lesson for your older child and one for you, on why not to intervene when your kids yell no at each other.
I’ve talked in great details about why my and your toddler loves to say “Noooo” loudly and all the time, in an article a couple weeks ago — Why does your toddler say “No” to everything?
But there is one more pattern I noticed between my older child and my toddler around this issue —
Anytime, my toddler would shout “No” for an arbitrary reason, or to express her opinion. My older one, almost 3.5 yr old will respond with a stern “Noo” in response or they’ll yell no at each other many times or my older one will come to me telling me he’s hurt that she said “Noo” to him, when they were playing together.
You see — he’s taking her “Noo” very seriously. And is either hurt or upset about it.
Every time they start yelling no at each other — my mind cringes, and I want to tell them to stop.
And sometimes I want to tell my older one; “She’s just saying it” or “She doesn’t really mean it” or “Can you at least be quite” or “I don’t want to hear any more Nooo’s”.
BUT… I STOP MYSELF…
Because, through this little “Nooo” squabble.. they are exploring sooo many healthy boundaries, emotions, and the power of the most powerful word “NO”.
So, instead of telling my son “She’s just sayin’ it” or “she’s doesn’t mean it” so they stop yelling or to console him when he feels hurt — I acknowledge his emotions for either being angry or hurt!
1. I don’t want to disrespect my toddler and lose her trust in me!
Like I talk in the other article, she says no because she means it! Whether it’s to express her opinion or to experience the power of saying no. She truly means it!
If I interject and announce, “she’s just sayin’ it…” , or “she doesn’t mean it” I am putting myself up for – a toddler tantrum! Or even worse – I may lose her trust in me (and a girl’s trust in her mom is platinum..not even gold!).
2. I want to give my son a lesson — “No means No”
We as parents want our children to learn this lesson of “no means no” in their teenage, while when they are kids we keep telling the “oh, she’s just saying it” or “ she doesn’t mean it”.
How can we expect them to learn the lesson of “No means No”; when their first ever lesson on NO is — “She doesn’t mean it”?
So there you go – my 2 precise reasons for not getting into their “No squabbles” which sound more like “Nooooo” or “No” “No” “No” squabbles…
Big #momtip: It’s not easy to listen to all that loud squabble — take deep breaths, remind yourself that they’re exploring healthy boundaries, and learning a priceless lesson!
P.S.: For me, it’s especially hard when they yell Nooo at each other on the car rides back from school. The first time they did it, I kept my mouth shut but had a few tears roll down my eyes. Because it was loud and very intense! And I could not believe the way my 2 calm and cool kids were yelling on top of their voice. It’s tough but we must let it happen!
Related Reading: WAIT – The Golden Principle of Respectful Parenting.
Related Reading: The Psychology behind why your toddler is not listening.
Related Reading: Terrible Twos or Tough Twos?