Friday, July 1, 2011

Why Say No When It Feels So Good To Say Yes?

First order of business: name the movie from where the title comes.

Second order of business: let's talk about the word no. 

Toph has recently started saying no.  He will accompany it with a head shake to prove his point.  Many times during our day, we will have conversations that go like this:

M: Can mama have a kiss?
T: No.
(This one is painful.  Already saying no to a kiss? I thought I had a few more years.)

M: Eat more green beans, Toph.
T:  No.

M:  Come here so mama can put your shoes on.
T:  No.

M:  Toph, what sound does a dog make?
T:  No.

M:  Let's wash hands, Toph.
T: No.

M:  Time for a diaper change.
T:  No.

M:  It's time to nurse, Toph.
T:  No.
(And then he'll proceed to nurse.)

We've got the word no down flat.  He tells the cats no too and I learned today that he'll tell dogs no.  While I like that he's verbalizing and even using nonverbal cues, such as the head shaking, this no business is driving me nuts.

I got to thinking though; is the word no really that bad?  I mean, we're the ones who taught him that word.   These days he's into everything and most everything he does while he's exploring warrants the word no.

When he first started saying the word no, I felt extremely guilty.  Oh, we must not let him do anything; we're repressing his spirit and being mean.

Then I thought, bull.  The kid needs limits.  He needs to know what is and is not okay to play with.  He needs to know that the dishwasher is not an okay thing to climb on.  "No" is the word we use when we tell people something is not okay; a word we use when we are setting boundaries.

While him telling us no will drive me up a tree, I'm glad he's asserting himself.  It's the first step in raising a child who can develop his own opinions.  While he will not always get his way and while I will have the final say, I've decided him telling me no isn't the worst thing in the world.  If we have to have a million conversations on why we ARE going to do something, that's okay.

Don't trip because I know some of you are.  He will know that mama and daddy are people to whom you don't speak the word no.  He will know that when his teacher tells him to do something, he does it.  No in the form of obstinance will not be tolerated.

He will be taught to respect, he will know to listen and he will know that adults are people you normally say yes to.  However, no can be a powerful word and we will teach him how to use it correctly.

Yes, my son will explore with the word no.  He will learn when he can and cannot say it.  I will not raise a yes-man but I will also not raise a no-no.  It's a fine line and it's one we will be balancing for years to come.

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Mom4Real said...

Great read, and I totally agree with you. It won't be long, and he will be saying yes, especially to kisses! Visiting and now following via You Like Me Hop...hop on over to my blog and gollow back if you like...

Jessica K

Amanda Joy said...

So true! At one point I felt like all I was doing was saying no. I then realized that when there are three sets of grandparents saying yes, mommy has to set the boundaries or reap the consequences later:)

Every Day Products & More said...

Hello newest follower from the hop look forward to reading your posts

Diane and Chad said...

one of the great myths of childhood...that "no means yes"...they need help to overcome that!

Connie said...

New follower from Social Parade! Hope you can hop by Girl Tech Divas and Follow Back!

The BabbyMama @ IKHIBF said...

I think no is an important word to learn - it's a part of their discovering their own boundaries. As parents, we can't always abide by their nos, but it's a great way for them to express their wants and needs.

Taffy said...

what a great post. Its so funny because my daughter is going through the same "NO" faze and its so cute.

new follower from the finding friends blog hop ~

Anonymous said...

Hello from the blog hop! Topher is absolutely adorable. Now following your blog and cannot wait to read more posts! Hope you'll stop by and do the same :D

Nicolette said...

Well said. I think there is a balance but it's not easy to achieve. BTW: My daughter went through the everything is no phase. We recorded her one day and asked her about 20 questions. All of which she replied no. It was very funny and a cute memory.

Thrifty Mom Spot said...

I love the what sound does a dog make- funny. But yes, it is not fun when they learn this word.
Following you now from Sunday Hop, would love if you'd consider following me!

Handy Man, Crafty Woman said...

ohhh it's aggravating when they start saying NO all the time!! he's such a cutie pie.

Mollye said...

Since no one guessed it, that quote is from Tommy Boy. And as always loved every moment of this blog!


Eve said...

He is so darn cute! I'm sure you find it hard to tell him "no" sometimes. I know I do with Handsome. It's def a fine line.