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!"?