Avoiding a World of 'No!'

I am beginning to feel like a broken record these days (coincidentally - Soren managed to scratch two arias on my Tosca Record - boo!).  No!  Don't get into the matches... No! Don't spray paint all over the carpet... No! Don't pick up that pile of dog poop.  The more important No's are don't run away from Momma, don't run down the driveway to the street, don't climb - it's not meant for that or No, sit - you'll fall off your chair.

I hate it.  No really - I do.  I feel like a) the bad guy and b) that I am setting up a world of negativity when I want Soren to explore and learn.  Where is the balance?!  It's not like he throws a tantrum every time you say it.  In fact, I think he is growing out of the phase.  Nope - now he laughs.  Yep!  Laughs....  And yes, he has one of those really adorable belly laughs that you just instinctively join in with.  But the problem with that?  He never, NEVER takes me seriously and we are getting to the point when he really needs to.  For his own safety.

I want him to experience boundaries on his own, but there are things that are better left to parental discretion.  So, on top of trying not to join in with his contagious chuckles - I am having the hardest time getting him to listen.  I don't want to yell, spank or do a time out (our version is going to lay down and when he is ready to listen he can get up), but I am at my wits end!!

I found this great article on Dr. Sears website.  It's been super helpful.  One of the tips is to get out - go do something in a world of yes'.  So that is exactly what we did and had a blast.  We have these gorgeous woods behind our new place so we put the lead on August and went exploring.  It was 45 minutes of yes', great jobs! and 'whoa....so cool!' (my personal favorite).

how do you address 'no' situations with your toddler?  any tips or helpful articles?