Thursday, November 8, 2007

Do you have this problem???

My 1-year-old daughter’s favourite new word is ‘no’. Every time I offer her something—even something I’m sure she really wants—she shakes her head and responds negatively. She also refuses to hold my hand. I’m finding this quite annoying and I fear we’re going to be constantly at loggerheads.

Therapist Lesley replies: Your daughter's becoming a toddler and saying no often is actually a normal and essential part of her development-even if it doesn't make life easy for you. For the first time, she's able to test limits, exert some power and have her own opinions, which is vital in helping her become her own person. It may seem strange when she rejects treats you know she'd really love, or a helping hand from you, but to her, saying ‘yes' can feel as if she's handing her power over to you. Try to respect her resistance rather than get into battles. A bit of tact will help you steer through most tricky situations, so try giving her choices rather than yes or no options. For example, ask ‘Do you want an apple or a banana?' rather than ‘Here's a banana', or say, ‘Walk or piggy back to bed?' rather than ‘Go to bed'.


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