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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Learning to NOT say "No"!

When I began thinking more about Madison's development and began researching ways to help her learn and grow I realized that I said no to her quite a bit.  For instance...

  • If she touched my earrings - "No, leave those alone."
  • If she touched my hair - "No, don't touch that."
  • If she went into the cabinet full of Tupperware - "No, stay out of there."
  • If she placed one of her toys in her mouth - "No, don't put that in your mouth!"
  • If she went into the laundry room - "No, don't go in there."
Learning to NOT say "no"!
I'm sure you get the point. When I spell it all out like that it's as if she couldn't do anything!  That certainly wasn't the case; however, I was unknowingly eliminating opportunities for me to interact with her/teach her something, for her to figure something out or for her to discover something new.  For instance...
  • If she touched my earrings - "Those are my earrings, you can touch but don't pull!"
  • If she touched my hair - "Do you like Mommy's hair, it's soft isn't it?"
  • If she went into the cabinet full of Tupperware - "What can you do with those containers? Let's put those back when you're finished."
  • If she placed one of her toys in her mouth - "That doesn't taste very good does it? Let's see how this thing works!"
  • If she went into the laundry room - "What do you see in there? This is where we do laundry.  This is the washing machine and that's the dryer.  Can you help me with the laundry later?"
Obviously, I'll be saying no when it comes to doing something that isn't safe or doing something that may cause her or others harm.  However, I think as a parent we often forget how new this world, and the things in it, is to our children.  I don't want to get into the habit of keeping her from exploring her surroundings, understanding how something works and discovering her world simply because I want her to "behave"!

It's in a child's nature to do these things not because they are worrisome busy-bodies who just can't sit still or leave things alone, but because exploring in this way is truly the essence of learning!

Do you ever find yourself saying no to your child(ren) unnecessarily?!?

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18 comments

  1. Great post! I'll have to think on this one...I know we definitely say No if it's something unsafe or harmful to them or others. I think we have found a good balance in saying no and teaching at the same time though.
    -Natasha @ Lovely You
    www.lovelyyoublog.com

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    1. Finding a balance is all that matters, in my opinion! I think the point is to be mindful of how much you're saying no to make sure you're not saying it excessively. I definitely plan to say no simply because "I said so" :) some times, just not as often as I would have before!

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  2. This is something that I am working with as well. I've also realized that if I must say NO that I try to always add a No, Thank you.
    It sounds better!

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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    1. Yes, Lanaya! My husband started doing that (saying "no, thank you) and I've been trying to do that as well. I think this is one of those things that ALL parents are working towards being mindful of in those early years!

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  3. My husband and I were just talking about this last week! Our LO is two and is hooked on the word "no". We realized we were saying "no" to often instead of encouraging his curious mind and allowing safe exploration. Making the change of saying "no" less as parents has helped him say "no" less as well! Total win for leaning and good behavior!

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    1. I imagine from our child's birth to age five is the time in which we're more prone to saying no a lot! They are into so much at that age and we just want to keep them safe and out of trouble. It's just a matter of not saying no excessively and it really hits us (how much we're saying it) once they start saying it back :)! I must admit it was a bit difficult getting use to not saying no to every little thing and the little lady is still shaking her head no but it seems to be more so at the appropriate times rather than just because!

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  4. Good point Nicole. I am going to say that my granddaughter can do whatever she wants to within reason LOL :) It will be different at Nana's house. If she is doing something unsafe, of course I will say "no, please don't do that Maddie" and try to explain why.
    You guys are doing an excellent job with her!!! Love you guys~~~~

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    1. Ha! You were going to let her have her way anyway!!! We love you too, dear :)!!!

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  5. I had to have a little pep talk with myself a few weeks ago over this same issue. I found myself saying this when I could have been replacing it with a phrase a like you talked about. It's true..they're just in a phase where everything is so fascinating and they just want to get their hands on it!

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    1. It can be so difficult, right! I'm still working on it and will probably have to be very mindful of it for the next few years...hopefully redirecting myself to NOT always say no will flow naturally over time.

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  6. we're trying to do the same thing around our house. it's tough, isn't it? i wonder why it feels so natural to say 'no'. it's my 18-month-old's favorite word now! :-/

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    1. It certainly is, Meghan! Sometimes I still say no and have to go behind myself and give the thing back or redirect her back to what she was doing. I was thinking about why it feels so natural as well and I'm thinking it has to do with the fact that we're mainly thinking about keeping them safe and out of stuff at this age and perhaps we also get caught up in making sure they "behave" because letting them get into everything (i.e. explore) doesn't "appear" to be culturally acceptable. I know I personally worry about people thinking that my child is all over the place because I let her do this or that, so I tell her no even (especially in public) even though I know that she's just curious and doesn't mean any harm. I think all parents whose children are mobile up to around age five have to deal with this at some point and we don't realize how much we're saying it until it becomes their favorite word :)!!!

      ...and I just wrote a book!

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  7. This is definitely an awesome post and one to take notes from!!

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    1. Thanks, Mionna! For some reason you and Dorothy tend to come to mind when I'm putting some of this stuff together! Probably because you've both said I should write a book in relation to some of this stuff. Still thinking on that one though :)!!!

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  8. Just saw a link to this post on Dancing with Ashley - I love the way you wrote this!! I don't want to say "no" too often because I don't want my 18 month old to begin using "no" as her favorite word!!
    Thanks for sharing, I'm glad I found your blog!!

    Amber
    fashionflossandlipgloss.blogspot.com

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  9. yes, I find myself saying no to my son all the time and I too must stop this because in return he has learned to say no to me. Thank you for this post. We as parents have to be more creative.

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