Sometimes children's behavior is upsetting and hard to manage. It is tempting to use an easy word "NO!" as our first response. All parents need to give a firm "no" sometimes, but we want to avoid overdoing it. We understand how important it is to begin early to set limits, because they are in our child's best interest.
As parents, it is easy to deal with problem behavior by saying or signing, "No!" or "Stop it!" However, if we use these words too much, they stop being effective. The following are ways to direct behaviors without using negative words like "no" or "stop it."
You tell or show your baby what to do, instead of what not to do. For example, if your little one is throwing blocks, you can show her how to drop the block in the bucket. Learn more about redirecting behavior in positive directions.
Pick Your Battles
Our goal is to limit negative feedback, but it depends on the situation.
Dangerous behaviors should receive negative feedback: Chewing on electric cords can be fatal, so discipline is needed – this is a time you want to use a firm "no."
A baby throwing a cup off the high chair may be trying to get your attention or has just discovered a fun new game. You can respond by giving attention, or by removing the cup. This is a situation that can use positive words or signs, rather than negative feedback.
Your goal is to find a balance - you want to protect your baby from injury, but not squelch her curiosity.
When your baby crawls toward the TV cord, you can replace it with a teething toy in another part of the room.
If your baby chews on appropriate toys, you can smile, laugh, and say, "Does that feel good?" Learn more about
using praise effectively.
Consistent attempts to reach the TV cord can result in time in the playpen or another room, while Mom or Dad sits and reads a book.
You want to remove your child from the situation in a calm, matter-of-fact manner.
You can distract your baby with something completely different, maybe something that does not encourage chewing.
You can keep your baby away from the problem situation or area. You can gate off the TV area if your baby keeps treating the cord as a toy. She does not know it is an adult toy.
More information about saying no positively.