Never say NO – Gleeful Parenting has no space for No

No, you are not supposed to touch that.”

Never say that again.”

Do not open that please.”

“You should never do anything like this.”

These are most frequent statements we use with children throughout our daily conversation. Many cannot find the reason for highlighted terms/ words. As per behavioral experts and child psychologists, parents who use NO many times in a day, damage their child’s linguistic understanding.

I agree to that completely, as a couple of months ago we met my long lost cousin and her 16 months baby. Such a cute little bundle of joy, however for everything his only response would be – na‘ (no). When I asked sister, why he says NO to everything, she had no clue about it. For that baby, even a YES came out as NA. A close observation of 48 hours revealed, my sister had used the word NO so many times in a day that child has picked it up as his first reaction.

Parenting is an ever learning process, we attempt, we fail, we learn again, and keep working hard until we succeed. A NO creates reversed reaction in a child’s brain. When we say NO to children it fills them with curiosity to know more about it. Hence making them do the exact opposite of what we advised. Wouldn’t it be wiser to use the words carefully with our children?

Read here – Kind Attention Parents.

A ‘NO’ creates more confusion than guidance

Between the age of 12 – 18 months, a child starts discovering their body. They often feel themselves and others to understand the difference. We must understand which developmental stage our child is going through, before making a judgment and pass an order. Touching and feeling by hands or other sensory organs is most common in children.

Licking, pressing, biting, touching, and pulling does not necessarily mean any ailment. It could be their way of observing others and themselves. Hence, solve their curiosity by allowing them the natural process instead of saying NO, Do not touch.

A ‘NO’ can hamper natural developmental cycle

Kids are curious and this curiosity makes them do many things, some balanced and some totally absurd. We as parents need to understand the logic behind the move.

For instance – Children applying mother’s cosmetics or toiletries are most common in the age of two-four years. This is to know and feel like their mother, the smell, sense of attraction, and belongingness. However, if the same act is repeated even after your detailed explanation or multiple applications you have to control.

Can we completely banish a NO?

We can, yes but it is tough. Trust me on that, I had a tough time maintaining my pledge of not saying NO. We parents just have to unplug ourselves and change the old habits. I have been told ‘NO’ by my mother zillion times, but that was a different zone. Today the scenario is new and so are the challenges. I confess to using NO at times for my daughter, however, the repetition has reduced drastically.

Use words that can easily pass the message that – You are not happy, without using the word NO. Like for instance, my daughter wanted to have an Ice-cream with her bad throat. She asked me multiple times and even made a grumpy face to get her wish fulfilled. At last, I had to tell her Yes! Yes, have ice-cream and then we will have to take you to Doctor for throat pain. Sour medicines will be your best friends for five days. She immediately changed her track and settled for boiled corn.

Parenting is all about maintaining a balance, few words here and there may make or break our children. Using right words and right attitude towards life makes the whole difference.

This post is written for #BlogchatterA2Z series by Blogchatter, and my theme for this challenge is Gleeful Parenting.

Previously from the series –

M for Me and Mine.

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11 Comments

  1. Say no to No…two negatives make a positive. I have witnessed a great change in myself and my children as well, when I consciously embarked on the “No to No” path few years back. Initially, it was tough to adopt. With practice, over the years, it has become the second nature.
    Very well put Dipika.

    Anagha Yatin
  2. I have gone through this innumerable times. Even we were told No so many times that I stopped asking. Now too there are days I react often with a No and realise the kids are bound to do even more. With reg to eating ice cream I ask kids to eat and come home drink hot or lukewarm water and brush teeth before bed. We can only do as much as we can I guess. Art of parenting is difficult yet it needs patience I think. Wonderful article again!👍

    1. For one year old it’s tough to explain and NO or YES, but we can show expressions with smiles and tell them this is wrong.
      Exclusive NO is tough to achieve but with practise it’s possible.

      gleefulblogger
  3. I have gone through this myself. There was a time when I would say only no to my child, only to have her saying the word back to me. That’s when I realized that no was a stronger word than yes. She learnt it faster than yes. And I stopped it or changed my way. It worked.

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