Friday, January 6, 2012

The Age of No

Do your children treat you like their maid-servant? I swear mine do. At least the girls, but they're teaching their little brother a few tricks already. When you ask them to do something, do they just tell you, "No," and go right back to what they're doing? Or if not, they throw themselves down as if the world has fallen into pieces around them and they'll never recover from the tragedy of being told it's time to get ready for bed?!

My apologies for the run-on sentence. Perhaps I was not at all meant for motherhood, but it's too late now. They won't be going back where they came from anytime soon. The womb is closed! Therefore, we have to soldier on together. Papa, the 3 children and me.

Apparently around the age of 6, the "No" word comes back (remember that 2-year-old 'no' stage?) as a favorite. Children at this age also work on perfecting the art of ignoring their parents. This is a stage that tries a parent's patience, but it is compounded when there are younger siblings around. Remember when your sweet, little baby modeled you? Now the younger children prefer to model the elder sibling.

I can handle one child ignoring me, telling me no or even throwing a tantrum. What causes the steam to rise in my head until it feels that it may literally burst off and fly off into space is when I have three children defying me. They join forces and suddenly there is "Team No-To-Mommy" in the room.

I despise yelling at my children. But in these moments I don't know what else to do and out comes the shout. When I've regained my cool (and they've done what they were told to out of fear of their crazed, shouting mommy), I have shouters remorse. Then I wonder if I'm the worst mom in the world. Then I agree to shirk all of my duties and have coffee with my friend (who has two daughters exactly the same ages as mine). Then I feel better.

How do you handle being told "no" by your children? What discipline do you enforce? Tell me about it or feel free to link to your best post about it!


  1. My boys are masters at ignoring my hubby and me. It drives us insane! Then we resort to yelling, which obviously doesn't cure the problem since they continue to ignore us. I can relate to your frustration!

  2. I was hoping I was past this stage. I didn't know it would come back.

  3. Susan, it's comforting to know someone who has written multiple parenting books has the same issues as anyone else (especially since I'm writing one myself!)!

    JDaniel4's Mom - all the stages come back around with variations for age! :)

  4. No always comes back, then when they become tweens no becomes "I don't want to". I usually start with taking time off their bed time. I start with 15 minutes and work my way up every time they ignore me. By the time they start losing a half hour they usually get up and do what they asked. I just tell them, I'm not going to waste my time yelling at you. I will just put you in bed early and you are only hurting yourself, because I don't mind a little extra quiet time at night.

  5. I don't give them a choice between yes no or later. I am in charge. period.

  6. Mrs. E - I fear the tweens!
    Momto 8 - I bet they listen to you. I would!

  7. I don't think you should have remorse. I think all our kids should listen to us :) Matilda is just 9 months and when I tell her no she growls and turns red it's a lovely site. I just get right in her little face and firmly say ..calmly " you do not growl at your mommy" I don't know if she gets it but she stops- Btw My blog is hostgator and I had my tech guy do it for me:) just realized I needed to respond to your post


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