N-O- sure is a powerful two letter word. What happens when we use “no” too frequently?
“Say yes more often so that when you say “no” they know you mean it.” These words spoken on Zen Parenting Radio hit home. They made me stop and think about all the times in a day I say no.
As a parent to young kids, I feel like I’m always saying no.
“No, you can’t have another snack.”
“No, we already watched a Goldie and Bear so the TV is staying off.”
“No, I can’t push you on the swing right now.”
“No hun, I’m sorry we aren’t getting the paint set out right before dinner.”
Okay, you get it! The list just seems to go on. These are all true statements that I uttered just today! I really should make a point of counting the number of times I say “no” verses the number of times I say “yes”. Sadly, I wonder if my “no’s” would be more frequent than the “yeses”. I understand there is a fine line to walk between spoiling your child by giving in to their every whim and begin too firm all the time. But somewhere in there I need to make an effort to find a better balance.
I need to realize that it really isn’t a big deal if they have more ketchup. Just squirt a tiny bit more and move on. And if they want a push on the swing, go do it! I’m going to miss their little giggle as they “fly” on the swing. One day I’m going to be wishing they would want me around. I’m going to be the one begging them to spend time with me!
Or instead of saying no to something they want to do, what about offering up something else instead. “Instead of painting before dinner, let’s grab these crayons and you can draw me your plate filled with your favorite foods!” I need to work on finding other ways of saying things so that I can save my “no” for when I truly mean it. I feel that compromising and relaying my message in a more positive way will have a profound impact on who they are and our relationship!
It’s a goal of mine to start making a conscious effort to say yes more often. Life is too short and they are little only this fraction of a time. I’ve got to loosen up. I’ve got to put a more positive spin on how I approach things. I want my No’s to have meaning when I use them.
Leave the dishes, let the table stay dirty, the toys can be picked up later. Go and say yes! Be present! Say yes to the next book they ask to read or the game they have been begging to play. Do it and you may find that you truly enjoyed it as well. It feels good to let go a little.
Try it out and get back to me! Count the number of times you say “no” to your child. Then the next day try to find a more positive way to approach things. Tell me what you discovered!!
On a side note, if you haven’t checked out Zen Parenting Radio I highly recommend that you take the time to check them out! I listen to their podcasts all the time. I find myself relating to so much they say! They are so real about everything they discuss and make you really ponder how you are thinking and responding to different aspects of your life! Above is a direct link to their website and here is a link to their Facebook account Zen Parenting Facebook.
I try to make it a point to follow ZPR motto: “the best predictor of a child’s well-being is a parent’s self understanding”
Also for more on behaviors and positive parenting, check out our post about how we use a positive behavior plan on Yes, the Principal’s Kid Can Be Naughty!