I wonder how many times in the day a person find themselves saying the word ‘no’? And when it is said, does it mean no with a humph? Or is it with a smile, a chuckle, a surprise, with sarcasm, a ‘no means no’…..what? Does it mean m-a-y-b-e or y-e-s? So many ways no could be interpreted. This small two letter word can pack a powerful message if it is said in the right way indicating no means no and out you must go. It is a sentence all by itself surprisingly enough. Does it need any further explanation? Well apparently.
Unfortunately for me, and most recently, my youngest granddaughter who is almost two (hard to believe), has perfected saying the word ‘no’. Not only saying the word but puts the humph in the word “no no no no”. She is watching way too much Cocomelon. LOL. But seriously, her vocabulary maybe limited but no comes out loud and strong. There is no question she has the science and art of the nuance of the language down pat. Even in the gestures, as her beautiful golden head of hair vigorously shakes back and forth and mouth set firmly saying “NO”. She is not quiet about it. And let me tell you there are no smiles, chuckles, maybes and such. No means no.
I could learn from her. The thing is when I say no which is almost every third word as she goes about her day, she balks. At first you might think she does not hear me. How many times do I need to say to not touch the dog dishes, climb the chair, pull on the gate to go up the stairs (she is strong), keep fingers from pulling the plug, leave your poopie diaper alone, don’t look at the projector light, no going in the shed, go slow, be careful, do not put in mouth. Just NO. But when she says no, her stubborn little body twists and turns and stomps the foot (new recent action). Haha. So cute. So much of an attitude. Have to keep from chuckling loudly. She knows the no for her.
Yet safety and guidance, the never ending internal radar alert system within, takes over the Rara (my grandma handle) vocabulary. I remember a conversation about a year ago, before she was really walking and crawling lots, my daughter noticed that I was saying no to her daughter who was starting to show signs of the red zone kinds of things. You know the kind where babies put anything in mouth. Or begin to crawl towards the upstairs of the stairs. In our chat, my daughter said outright that she was not going to use the word NO too much with her own daughter. Let’s just say my eyebrows went up and out. Yeah. Really!!
So here we are sitting in the living area with all of the toys located around the room as my granddaughter sits on the lap of my own daughter. Little one likes to hold on to the ear lobes for some reason as she sits with those she knows. Maybe it is kind of similar to a security blanket, only the human kind. Ouch. Anyway she pulls on her mommy’s earlobes and my daughter says no in a very loving and gentle way. So trying to remove the wee hands from the earlobes, the babe takes her hands and smacks her mommy on both sides of her face. My heart goes out to my daughter because she truly loves her daughter with every fiber of her being. But the expression on her face was so heartbreakingly sorrowful. I do not think she realizes that babies to toddlers and beyond have the capacity to do heart damage. Unbeknownst to themselves, but nevertheless, sometimes their actions go right to the jugular. So her mommy had to grab the little ones hands and firmly say “NO.” Her look caught my heart strings.
It is so hard to raise a child. Nothing like it. What you think you are going to do or say and what you do do or say, well it is a crap shoot on a good day. I think breathing comes to mind. I was thinking of the emojis in text messages and there is this one image with a shark blowing steam from its head. LOL. Yes that about covers it. So the word ‘no’, overused – abused – misused. Yep. No, there is not a manual of Roberts Book of Rules, the governance for protocol and procedure to run the lives of tiny tots. And you can forget about a manual with rules and practices for the older tweenies and teenies and heaven forbid ,the nest leavers returning. Aaaahhhh.
In my little opinion raising three daughters and being with my three grandchildren, I believe that when you say no to a child or for that matter anyone, you want the receiver of the NO to show you mean it. If no means no then NO. It could be with a look…the mom or dad look. Parents have that down pat. So do teachers for that matter. LOL. Short explanations might be good to provide, depending on the age of child. (Don’t be like my dad as he told us to come to the dining table. Those lectures and life lessons of what not to do were so long. Shoot me now, Dad). And for heaven sakes, stand your ground and have consequences in mind. Not that ‘thou shalt do as I say, not as I do’ yucky mumbo jumbo stuff. Nor that ‘spare the rod, spoil the child’. Little ones are people too. Just saying. However, I am not sure how a child learns the nuances of cajoling, buttering up, pleading, or whatever you might want to call it, prompting the curt no and turn it somehow into a worn down yes. Gotcha mom. Yeah, not nice. I can attest to that one and so not proud of my actions. It is exhausting to say no. 🙂
No does not have to be negative all the time. There are so many good reasons for saying no to a child (or a pet, too many LOL). Just know the why of the no. Right? Saying no for the heck of it does not bode well for the heart and mind. You should be good with it. Although it is interesting what people say no about when with child. I have carried the philosophy for the most part for having experiences. Some experiences like being near water or a fire or tree climbing etc will be a no to the no, a child needs to explore and discover some things on their own. Does one want to be frugal with the no? Probably not. But maybe be a bit more creative….turn the no and rephrase. How? Don’t ask.
Note to self….for goodness sake make sure you say YES too. Blessings.
Let us pray for those who are need of our prayers today and the art of more yes then no in life.
PS The humous results of no…maybe…or hiding from the no.
Parents its okay to say “no” to your children. They won’t explode. True story.
I would love to but unfortunately….no.
Please keep making excuses for your children bad behaviour. It really seems to be working out well for you.
The easiest way to shop with your kids is not to.
“I asked my mom if I was adopted. She said, ‘Not yet, but we placed an ad.’” —Dana Snow
Currently helping my son search for his chocolate that I ate last night.
“90% of parenting is just thinking about when you can lay down again.” —Betsy Farrell
“A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.” —Jerry Seinfeld
“When I tell my kids I’ll do something in a minute, what I’m really saying is ‘Please forget.’” —@SarcasticMommy4
“I’m just a mom, standing in front of my husband, trying to say something that I can no longer remember cause my kid interrupted us 75 times.” —@LHLodder
“Then suddenly you’re a mom declaring ownership over swept dirt on the kitchen floor yelling DON’T YOU DARE WALK THROUGH MY DIRT PILE!” —@LooksLikeTutTut
“Can’t find your kids? Don’t worry; sit on the toilet. They’ll find you.” —@MamaJessieC