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Getting to Yes

March 19, 2013

zachary wearing sneakers on his hands of course

ME: Zachary, do you want to put your shoes on your feet?

ZACHARY: No shoes.

ME: Zachary, do you want to take a bath?

ZACHARY: No bath.

ME: Zachary, do you want to take get ready for bed?

ZACHARY: No bed.

While we would love Zachary to start saying “yes” more, he has been saying “no” more than ever lately. He has even been saying “no” to things he absolutely loves like taking a bath. “No” has become his favorite word. I understand that “no” is a much easier word to say than “yes” but I think his love of the word is deeper than that. I think with Zachary and it may be true with a lot of toddlers, saying “no” is the only way he can assert his control. Though it seems sometimes that Zachary is the king of our apartment, he really has very little control over what he does, wears or eats on a daily basis. Saying “no” is a way to assert his independence while saying “yes” does little for him. When I ask him something like do you want to take a bath it is not like I am really asking as much as I am telling him. Maybe he’ll start saying “yes” more when we start really asking him questions where saying “yes” means more than just going along with what we have already decided.

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