I Said, “No!” Defiant Toddlers Are a Good Thing, Right?

My toddler son has definitely entered a phase of expressing himself better these days, but sometimes, it means he’s a little demanding and downright defiant. At only two years old, my baby boy sure does know how to use the word ‘No’ effectively, perhaps a little too well even. He is not one that needs a personal development course in learning how to say no, believe me. In fact, we adults could probably learn a thing or two from defiant toddlers, though I would hope we’re a bit more polished with our manners. Defiance in a toddler can be a good thing, right? Let’s explore what I mean by that.

Toddler Screaming NoSource: Mindaugas Danys/Flickr


I certainly do not want to raise a defiant child. I want my children to be able to express themselves, sure, but I also want them to obey, listen, and adhere to our rules. But, as a toddler, defiance is a sign that my son is able to express himself and able to communicate his feelings. These are all good things, developmentally speaking.

Does it get annoying that he constantly says the word no? Is it frustrating to have him turn down requests and be so disagreeable? Of course it is! But, I keep reminding myself that at least my baby boy knows what he wants (or doesn’t) and is able to verbalize it. We may still have to work on the manner he expresses himself and help him learn that sometimes he may have to do what we ask, regardless of how he feels, but that’s just a logistical matter.

A defiant toddler takes work, patience (a lot of it), and creativity, but in the end, it’s all for the better. I don’t often remember this as I’m in the moment of dealing with his defiance, but I try my best to stay calm and help him work through the learning curve.

Have you ever thought about your toddler’s defiance as a good thing?

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