What’s going on for baby?

By this stage a child has realised they’re a separate ‘being’ from their parents and may want to do things for themselves and in their own way.

They might be saying ‘No!’ often, sometimes even if they mean ‘Yes!’ Often this is about their wish to be independent and make some personal decisions for themselves, rather than a way of annoying their parents.

How can parents and whānau help?

  • Understand and respect their child’s growing need to make decisions and do things for themselves.
  • Offer them limited choices (‘this or that’) so they experience some personal power within the limits dad and mum have given them.
  • Let them know in advance when something is going to change — ‘It’s bath time soon, are you going to play with your boat or your cups in the bath tonight?’
  • Keep a sense of humour. Understand that why they say ‘No!’ is because they can, they’ve heard it and know what it means, and it feels powerful.
  • Turn saying ‘no’ into a game. Hold up dad’s shoe and ask, ‘Is this your shoe?’ or ‘Does a dog say “meow”?’

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