How to Stop Your Toddler From Saying "No" All the Time

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Everyone in the family is fascinated that your youngest could now communicate with them. However, you suddenly notice your toddler saying "no" all the time. It might sound funny at first, but in the long run, you will learn that it does not work well with your child's growth and the relationship you have.


George Mason University developmental psychology professor Susanne Denham explained that when toddlers learn to say "no," they simply learn that they have will. While this phase will end soon, here are ways you could do to stop your toddler from saying "no" all the time. 

Offer other choices

Forcing your child to do something could be what makes your child say "no" more often. Give them limited choices so your they do not shut your offer down.

You may ask your daughter if she would rather walk to the car or be carried on the way. You could also ask your son if he wants to play with a friend or by himself.

Giving them two choices is enough for toddlers to avoid saying "no" outright. 

Parenting Tips: Entitled Child: 7 Ways to Prevent Raising One

Teach other ways to respond

Your little child says "no" very often because he knows limited words. Teach your toddler other vocabularies such as yes, perhaps, or maybe. You could also ask silly questions to get your toddler to answer "yes." 

Make it appear like there is an option

You know your children well and you understand how things work better than they do. Turn everything into a decision making experience, even though you know that there is only one choice. For example, if you need them to wear a sweater, ask if he wants to wear it by himself, or you help him wear it. 

You could also ask if your child would want to eat his veggies using a fork or using his hands. By doing so, your toddler would think that he has a choice, but in reality, he only has one choice, and that is to eat his greens. 

See also: 5 Effective Ways to Handle Children's Sneaky Behavior

Stand your ground

Sometimes you do not have a choice but to firmly instruct your child, especially when safety is of concern. For example, if your child suddenly stops walking in the middle while crossing the street, you might have to explain that she has got no choice. 

Explain that even though she does not want to walk, there is no choice for her to do so. Denham explained that although your child has a will, she could not exert it at all times. 

See also: 8 Easy Steps to Strengthening Your Parent-Child Bond

Avoid saying "no" 

Children imitate their parents easily, so you should model how you want them to be. As much as possible, try to use other words instead of saying the word "no." For example, if your child wants to read another book, and it is already bedtime, you could tell her that "yes, we could read another book tomorrow" instead of saying "no." 

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