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What to Do When Your Toddler Shouts NO!

If you have a toddler, you know how precocious this age can be. Your little baby is growing up, becoming more independent. Although this newfound toddler independence can be a good thing, you also know that your toddler could start the NO phase at any moment. If this phase isn’t nipped in the bud right away, you could look forward to many more NOs over the next few months. Here are a few tips you can use so you know what to do when your toddler starts to shout NO!

Address the Issue

Don’t be afraid to take the direct approach when your toddler shouts NO! Tell your toddler, “We don’t say that word,” or “Are we supposed to shout to Mommy?” By directly addressing your toddler’s verbal outburst, you’re letting your child know right away that shouting isn’t the right answer.

Redirect Their Attention

A great way to get your toddler to stop saying no without a fit or meltdown is to redirect their attention. Give them something else to do that will distract them from saying no. Ask them if they know where a favorite toy is or if they had fun at a recent play date. If you can get your toddler thinking about something else, you’re less likely to hear the dreaded NO.

Give Consequences

If your toddler loves to say no, you might want to start giving out consequences. This could be something as simple as a quick timeout or a verbal reprimand. If the issue persists, you can start taking away toys or doing longer timeouts. Each time you give a consequence, let your toddler know that you love them but that it’s not nice to shout NO to mommy. It might take a while, but eventually your toddler will begin associating the word “no” with a consequence they don’t like.

Let Them Cry It Out

A lot of times, your toddler is shouting no in the middle of a tantrum or meltdown. If this is the case, don’t be afraid to let your toddler cry it out. It’s perfectly normal for toddlers to have these fits, so let your toddler get all of those negative emotions out, even if they shout NO the entire time. Once your toddler calms down, you can lovingly discuss better ways to deal with emotions.

As much as you hate to hear it, your toddler will go through the NO phase at some point. Some kids grow out of this stage much faster than others. Although you can’t force your toddler to leave this phase behind, you can have a plan in place to help minimize the shouting and to hopefully make the phase go away faster.

What do you do or have you done when your own toddler shouts "NO!"? 

Annmarie John
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  1. 👍👍👍There should be a "like" button on here. Great tips!

  2. Letting them cry it out usually works for me. I let them get it out of their system then we start over again.

  3. Oh man, I remember those tantrums. Ignoring it always worked well in my case.

  4. I really need to follow this I am so bad to just let it go to avoid the fight but I know that's bad in the long run.

  5. Oh man, I hate when my daughter does this. And when she crosses her arms as she yells. Ugh. I usually just send her to her room until she calms down.

  6. if i had a toddler, i would be doing all of these :D

  7. We never went through that, thank goodness but I sure see a lot of kids that do!

  8. Yep, totally agree with addressing the "No!" right away. I've seen so many parents just pretend it never happened, and at the same time, not making the child to do what they were asking them to do. It really just reinforces to the child that they don't need to listen to Mommy or Daddy. And the older they get, the more of a problem that becomes.

  9. You will get through this phase. I'm in the I hate you phase!

  10. great tips and tricks esp useful for first time toddler parents we do redirection if they say NO its a matter of turning it into a YES with no todditude.

  11. Its not easy to hear them say no.. sometimes its hard to follow, deviation is not good, you must stick to the same way all the time.

  12. Yes, yes and yes. I wrestle with this with my daughter.

  13. Great tips here! I work in a public place and all to often I see parents caving into crying!

  14. All of these are great ways to help them get through the "No" phase. I just had to deal with one of these fits with my youngest in the grocery store. It was not fun. I know she will grow out of it just like her older sister did. Thank goodness!

  15. Great tips for moms, for sure. Thank God, I never had to go through much of these with both my girls. But when I have to face it, I used to redirect their attention to my best with some music or funny imitations & it should all be over.

  16. Great tips for moms, for sure. Thank God, I never had to go through much of these with both my girls. But when I have to face it, I used to redirect their attention to my best with some music or funny imitations & it should all be over.

  17. If we give that word power, they'll use it more and more. They study us very carefully for our reactions!

  18. These are great tips! I am trying to rephrase what I say so that "NO" doesn't make sense in context (instead of do you want to... I ask which one do you want to do). It's helping... I think ;)

  19. It's funny how we forget once our kids grow older and use clearer language to communicate. I know my kids and all their friends went through that phase, and it passed as they learned to express themselves with more words.


[name=AnnMarie John] [img=] [description=AnnMarie John is a lifestyle blogger, mom of 4, retired army veteran and a huge Disney lover. Formerly from the beautiful island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean and now living in colorful Colorado, she loves sharing her opinions on everything, crafting and food.] (facebook= (instagram= (twitter= (pinterest= (

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