My 18 Month Old and The “N” Word


I cannot be the only parent who has to deal with their child continuously repeating a word or phrase they have heard their parent say! I didn’t realize that a child of only 18 months would be aware enough to listen to me say certain words, then continuously repeat it.

And why…. why did she pick the one word I vowed not to say in front of her because I knew I would be very upset if she said it back to me.

It seems like every day, I wake my baby up in the morning and look into her beautiful face. I say, “Good morning Skylar…how are you today?”, of course, she doesn’t answer, but I like the thought of a morning conversation between mother and daughter.

I talk to her throughout the process of picking out her clothes, changing her diaper, and getting her dressed. Every once in a while, as she is still waking up, she will mutter a word or two but nothing identifiable.

As we walk down the stairs, I continue to talk to her, her beautiful face smiling and laughing at whatever I am saying. She points to her high chair because she knows that is her vehicle to breakfast. As I place her food on her tray and help her with her food, it inevitably happens every single morning. As she says the word, it pierces my ears and makes my heart beat a little faster.

“Skylar, do you want oatmeal?”


“Skylar, can I have a kiss?”


“Skylar, sit down in your chair.”


“Skylar, come here.”


When did she become so good at that word? Why does she say it so much? Why does it affect me the way it does?

My husband and I tried very hard not to say that word to her. We were diligent in our attempts to use positive reinforcement when it applied and decided to only use “no” when she would be in extreme danger. Apparently, it didn’t work.

As I did research, I found that all toddlers go through the “no” phase, but this something I would love to end quickly. We have tried responding with “yes” every time she says “no.” She thought that was a fun game and started saying “no” even more than before. We tried ignoring it when she said “no,” that just led to tears.

Ultimately, I gave in and taught her to say, “No, ma’am.” At least this way, when she is defiant, she is respectfully defiant. Internally, that makes me feel like a boss mom and superficially feel like I have some control in this mother-daughter relationship.

I wonder, what are some tricks you have used to help your kiddos stop saying words you don’t like? Should I try ignoring it, or should I address it? I am tired of researching; I need insight from the IMB community!

Thanks, Moms!!

Previous articleChoose Earth
Next articleSummer Bucket List for Toddlers
A sports marketing executive for nearly 15 years, Brookshire is currently the Vice President for Marketing and Community Relations for Sky Zone Parks in Indianapolis. Developing and managing marketing campaigns for NASCAR, Ford Racing, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field have provided Brookshire with a unique portfolio that has heavily emphasized community outreach and partnership management. In her role at Sky Zone, Brookshire oversees marketing, public relations, social media, special events, communications, partner relations and sales. A graduate of Central Michigan University, Brookshire has lived in Indiana for seven years. She currently resides in Lawrence with her husband and three daughters.