Boundaries are something I am trying to teach my child every day now. She is one and a half (18 months by others) and I am struggling with teaching her it’s not ok to eat soil or crayons, it’s not ok to knock over mummy’s flowers and laugh about after, spill the milk on the beige carpet and spread it as much as you can until it forms a massive stain so hard to take out. I am struggling to explain that it’s definitely not good to pull off your nappy and spread poop on the carpet (lucky it wasn’t a soft one 😳).

How helpful are articles?  Do they teach us something or just make us more confused?

I keep reading a million articles related to this subject and I swear I am lost in a thick fog here. According to some toddler whatever specialists it’s very important not to say no to your child but try and use different other phrases that would mean the same thing. Using the word no teaches them to use it as well and soon you will have a no no no toddler in your life who won’t say anything but. I thought it’s a good reason and because my little one just learned how to nod and express negation I made efforts in rephrasing “No. Ruby, don’t eat off the floor!” with “Ruby, we eat food that is not on the floor but on the table”. See, there is negation but not the word no.

toddler 1
Now, making huge efforts in eliminating no and researching how to be a better mother I stumbled upon another related article treating boundaries and how important they are for a toddler. And it says:  “No toddler behaves sensibly all the time. That’s why there will be times when you have to say “no”, whether your child gets too close to the pond or experiments with throwing sand.”
So …. is it ok to use the word no? See, understand my confusion here.
This recent article is quite good, treating consistency and teaching how to approach a child and how to be on the same page with your partner when it comes to setting the rules but in the same time is in total contradiction to stuff I read so far.

Is it good to say NO?  Should we reward our kids for every good thing they do?

All good so far but I can’t stop but wonder: how long does it take? How many grey hairs do I have to get until she will learn that detergents and washing powders are not toys? How many glasses of wine do I have to drink until she will finally realise that soil is for plants and rocks are not a snack?
Is there a time frame here? I  am definitely not getting any younger although I wish.
It was written somewhere that in order for your child to learn how to behave you have to reward them then and there. Really? Isn’t this like a form of bribery? Aren’t we told that the child needs to learn good manners without being rewarded as otherwise he/she will always expect some sort of recognition for any small act of good behaviour? So what’s best? Did you reward you little one or not?
I mean, for me, if the munchkin does something good or she behaves I always make sure I tell her she’s done good and I cheer and clap and tell her what a good girl she is but I never gave her things for this.
How do you act here?
How do you teach manners and boundaries without being the “bad guy”? How do you do it and still remain the good parent you are? How do you educate them, be firm and loved in the same time? Would my child still know I love her more than anything in the world although I release the devil in her when I say she is not allowed to do certain things?

toddler 2

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