My darling son, at 17 months, is in the I WANT TO GET MY WAY stage. He says "no" a lot but not always meaning no. A yes no sounds different than a no no.
Occassionally he has decided that the proper method for expressing his displeasure is to push his sippy cup onto its side or to throw down onto the floor whatever he has in his hands. Every now and again he will even plop himself down onto the floor and throw himself backwards. That has resulted in a few bruises when it happened on tile and not on the carpet. Lesson learned.
Now he is taking it one step farther. He will now reach out and try and slap or scratch me. Not fun. I sternly tell him no, to stop and that what he is doing is not nice. When this doesn't work, I make sure to stand up and make it a point to move very far away from him. He is not going to get to play with mommy if he slaps.
I don't know about you, but sometimes being a parent means you are tired. You have repeated the same song, the same book and the same game more times than you can count. All you want is a little quiet and then your child decides to act out.
So one evening I am sitting on the floor playing with Ian when he decides he doesn't like something I did or said and decides to slap at me. I tell him no. Then he proceeds to try and bite me, with his whole 4 teeth. Not thinking, I reached out and popped him on the head while saying "no". Just like a mother cat would do to her kitten. Just like I have done to teach my cats not to bite.
I think I was just as surprised as he was. We both just looked at each other and blinked a few times. At least it worked.
So the next time you aren't sure what to do with your child, remember the things you have learned from your pets.