Observe natural interactions with adults and older siblings.
As children move more independently, have increased language comprehension, and can communicate more effectively with sounds and gestures, adults begin to expect a higher level of compliance. If opportunities for limit setting and compliance with requests do not occur spontaneously elicit them. Prompt adult to ask the child to “hand me a toy” or “show me your tummy.” For limit setting, “No. Take that out of your mouth” (as the situation dictates).
When told “no” the child complies with the limit setting. The child may also comply, but cry as well. He will also respond to simple requests to “show me,” “give me,” etc.
Children all need boundaries, so learning the meaning of facial expressions and limit-setting words is important. Encourage early childhood educators and parents to pair words (short and simple) with firm intonation (not yelling). Make a frowning face, say ‘no’ firmly, and explain why simply (“That’s sharp.”) The child at this level will not totally understand the meaning, but this pattern is important for later cause-and-effect understanding. Explanations are important for the development of reasoning.
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015
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