About a year and a half your little ones will use the most famous word in the toddler dictionary… “No”! This heavy duty two letter word works wonders to express their dismay or often times is followed by the second infamous word of a toddler’s vocab: “mine”. These two power packed words have to ability to drive you MAD if you let them.
So what to do about your growing toddlers propensity for these words? Toddlers are sponges and whether you have paid close attention to yourself, your toddlers are predisposed to the word “no” from none other than mommy herself. Just try to recall all the times you said “no, don’t touch that”, “no, get down from there”, “no, don’t put that in your mouth” you’ll notice “no” is a significant word in your vocabulary. Try to limit your usage of the word and instead change the language you use such as “don’t touch because you could hurt yourself”, or “we only put food in our mouths”. Though still young, they understand more than I feel adults give them credit for. Try explaining why they can’t touch something such as “you can’t touch that because it will burn your hand”and they may surprise you and cease the behavior.
Remember the days when you could split everything between your wonderful little bundles? Well that comes to a hault once they get into the “mine” stage. This little word has begun plenty of battles between my little angels. It’s amazing to me how the same little people who have shared almost everything since the very beginning have become so territorial. I attribute this to their growing independence. So what to do? Though I’m still learning myself, I have found taking away the source of the “mine” battle works. This of course shifts the attention from the object of debate to you of course but it’s nothing mommy can’t handle :-). I’m all for talking to my tiny tots so once I remove the object I say my mother’s favorite line to my brother and I when we were younger, “if you can’t share it, you can’t have it at all”. After a few moments the tears cease and they are more open to sharing rather than not having the toy at all.
Now keep in mind there are always limitations to everything and every toddler requires different tactics to encourage their expanding vocabulary. “No” and “Mine” are just the beginning of their language use and comprehension. Soon their vocabulary will become copious and your tiny tots will become tiny motor mouths. Remember to write down all the memorable moments and most of all enjoy the journey.