But let's back up a bit. Where did this kid learn about the power of "No!"? From his parents of course. As they were showing him what would be okay or not they used the word "No" to communicate with him. He is now simply using what he has learned to let his parents know what is okay with him and what isn't. The two may not and often aren't in agreement. The child has not learned what to do in this case. So when he doesn't feel like he was heard, he may react in a number of ways depending on the child and what he has seen played out or how he feels about himself. Yes even at the young age of 18 or 24 months of age. She may choose to throw a fit or he may choose to sulk and withdraw. This is because the child has only seen two ways of responding to this situation- react and resist or agree and align (but not be happy about it). Parenting can be easier on both child and parent when a third option is modeled- allowance and alternatives to "no."
- What would that look like?
- What might happen if you choose that?
- What else is possible?
- That doesn't work for me, can you come up with something else?
- How can I be of assistance?