Productive Communication to Baby: Say No to Don't

Having an infant who is curious about everything is challenging. Alula is within the age of putting everything into her mouth. It is expected and is part of her developmental milestone. It means that she grows well according to her age, and Mama needs to pay extra attention to whatever she does.

Alula is very observant and active. I recently cannot get my eyes off her. Otherwise, a half ply of tissue was gone, just like yesterday when I left her for a while to go to the toilet. I suspected that she ate it. Sigh! I panicked. Out of reflex, I said, "Don't eat the tissue, Alula!". I rushed to take the tissue out of her hand and search the remaining in her mouth. It was gone. Well, it's my fault anyway. I forgot to put the tissue box out of her reach.

Alula and half ply of tissues

Then, I realized that I wasn't communicating productively. In productive communication, we should say what we want instead of what we don't want by avoiding don't. In my case above, I should say "Alula, put the tissue down." or just "Stop!" for something emergency or dangerous. Having said that, I admit that all these time I always say don't for something I didn't want her to do. On top of that, I haven't introduced the word stop to her. Ok, a lesson learned.

Later in the day when changing her diaper, I talked to her in a friendly tone. "Baby, tissue is not food. It's not for eating." She grabs the tissue from my hand, observes it and tears it into pieces. She enjoyed the sound of how it tears. When she starts to direct one of her hand into her mouth, I implemented the productive communication by saying "Put it down, baby. It's not a food." She giggles and throws the remaining tissues away.

High five, baby! It's a good start for us!