Transcript for Actress' Decision Not to Tell Child 'No' Sparks Debate
how to handle an adventurous toddler. One actress has people buzzing when she boasted about her decision to stop telling her daughter no. Abc's abbie boudreau has the story. No. Reporter: It's a two-letter word. No. Reporter: Most toddlers know all too well. No, no, no. Never did I think I would tell my precious baby no. No. But now it feels like that's all I say. No, no, no. Reporter: First time mom mona sokoloff who was in "desperate housewives" is trying something most parents wouldn't dare. You try not to say no. Yes, I just felt like that evil mom who was just always reprimanding my child and hated myself and parenting skills and I think she was starting to not like me. Reporter: Marla says her 15-month-old daughter got so used to it she thought it was funny. Got to the point where she was laughing in my face. My nos can turn into no, no, no, no, no, like that. My husband, that used to be his no. He'd be like, no, no, no, no. Reporter: But none of those nos were working so she turned to extreme measures and stopped saying no. Most of the time. Some experts say it helps. Wonderful idea because if you're saying no all the time, your toddler won't take you seriously. Reporter: Here's how it works, instead of saying no to everything you pick three nonnegotiable nos. Standing in the bathtub and throwing food from the high chair and trying to eat their dog's food. The rest of the time she relies on the art of distraction and, of course, there's always the look. Do you still give her the no look? You know what I'm talking about. I do. Reporter: Could this be the answer for all of us moms who are tired of sounding like a broken record. No, no, no. I feel better about myself as a mom. But don't expect little elliott to stop saying that two-letter word any time soon. No. Reporter: For "good morning america," abbie boudreau. No, no, no. Reporter: Abc news, los angeles. Okay, sparking some debate here. No, no, no. Yeah, right. So interesting, isn't it? Yeah. To me I think what is going on? Like the word "no" is so important on so many different levels and when I speak all over with parenting experts one of the most important things I want my kids to be self-disciplined. What is that? It's when a person says no to themself in the moment to focus on something else and one of the best ways for parents to teach it is to be disciplined in their parenting. I think we heard her say i think it's a trap that I felt like she didn't like me. I just feel like if I do a good job as a parent and my child will like me but they're an adult when they can choose to like me or not. I think kids want boundaries. But I remember you're teaching them the word no because of course they're smiling because they don't know what it means but they learn what no means by you being firm. I just remember -- yes, yes. Let me play devil's advocate. I am constitutionally incapable of not saying no all the time. I say no all the time but i understand what she's talking about. It becomes reflexive you're saying no all day long. It takes away the meaning. House how it makes you feel. Look at you. You're taking over my job. That's what you're doing. Guess what. Come on. You know what, i absolutely -- you're right. A lot of parents focus more on how does it make me feel versus what are we trying to do? What is our focus here. As a parent what is it we really want to do and let us make sure we're parenting by our principles and not by emotion. Hear, hear. Great to have you. To have me back.
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