“No. We didn’t come here to buy a toy.”
“No dessert until you’ve finished your broccoli.”
“Don’t do that”
“Don’t touch that!”
How many times in a typical day do we parents utter the word ‘no’? I’ve considered purchasing a clicker just to figure these kinds of things out. If a tally counter wound up in my Christmas stocking for instance, this would be the first thing I’d use it for followed by counting how many times I’m blessed to hear the word ‘mom’ in an 8 hour period. These things intrigue me. I digress… Here’s what I’m pondering:
Have we parents changed the word ‘no’ into a verb?
We use it as a word that requires immediate action. A negative action. Which leads me to this question weighing heavy on my heart:
I don’t consider myself a negative person, but would my child describe me as such?
I so desperately want to be a positive, encouraging mom. I want my words to show I’m my kid’s biggest fan. I’m in my kid’s corner no matter what. Simply put, I want to portray the character of Christ.
Let’s be honest. It takes serious daily effort to re-train the no-brain. Is it worth the effort? I mean, how many times did I hear ‘no’ growing up and I turned out okay… (love you, mom!)
When I reflect upon how God handles all of my whining, begging, communications, actions, and downright disobedience, I have to be honest and admit hearing the word ‘no’ from Him doesn’t come to mind. I don’t always get what I want, mind you. He simply shows me the way without the negativity. . .
He shows me the way. . .He shows me. . .He shows.
My God is a God of action. Not reaction. God gives directions to complete the maze. He doesn’t focus on the dead ends. Granted, He has told us what NOT to do. (Thank you, Lord. There’s something comforting about knowing the rules.)
When I put myself in my toddlers cute little shoes, it’s easy to see how frustrating the word ‘no’ really is. It doesn’t help me see the proper direction to take. It just tells me to stop doing what I’m doing and expects me to figure out what I should do instead. Is a toddler really ready to process a 2-3 step action without clear directions?
Do I want to be the reason my child becomes desensitized to this crucial word?
What if we as parents tried to parent more like our Heavenly Father? What if we gave directions instead of dead ends? What if we were parents of action instead of reaction? What if we guided our children to things they can do rather than stopping them dead in their tracks, expecting them to figure out the rest.
What if we said the word ‘no’ when only absolutely necessary?
I’ve been trying to take ‘no’ out of my vocabulary for a while now. It’s hard. It takes serious effort every day. And sleep. You know what? I can tell when I succeed.
I want my child to view me as a positive influence in their life — in all aspects. I want to be a parent of action. One who sticks to the rules and has fun in the process. What’s wrong with being a ‘yes’ mom?
How about you? What creative ways can you think of to avoid using the word ‘no’? What actions do you take to remain a positive influence on your children? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.
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