The Word "No"

Nov 8, 2010

My husband and I somehow ended up talking about using the word "no" with children this weekend. The discussion was not about discipline, but actually about the word "no" itself. I have some friends who, instead of saying "no," will use another phrase or sound to stop a particular type of behavior.

We have a dog who is occasionally very naughty. Thus, "no" is a word we use in our house. The question was whether we should use "no" directed at Lauren. At seven months, she's clearly not old enough to know right from wrong. However, she's getting quite mobile which puts her into situations where the temptation is to respond "no."

I did a little searching on the subject, and read that parents and caregivers may wish to follow the word "no" up with what the proper behavor is. One example I read said, if in a child is using scissors in an unsafe way, the best response is, "No, Johnny. Scissors are for cutting paper." Others recommend using the word "stop" instead of "no."

What has worked for your families?

About the Author...
Heather King
Heather is the anchor and executive producer of WITN News at Sunrise and also reports.