Parenting with less no’s… possible?

For one whole day, I’d like to try to not say the word “NO”.

With two kids, I don’t know if it’s possible. I try so hard, on a daily – hourly – minute by minute basis to come up with positive alternatives to saying the N word. I’m running out of things to say.

But I don’t like to say the N word. Really. It just comes out. It comes out mostly when I’m tired, or frustrated, or are too shocked or angry to say something else (like if a certain two year old tries to jump from the couch to the dining room table…).

It’s not that I don’t want the kids to know what No means. Far from that. I think we overuse it, and it’s meaning gets lost, and it’s just another word. It doesn’t mean anything – doesn’t mean business.

I’m a big believer in positive discipline. Turning things around to not criticise as much as to reinforce positive behavior and encouragement. You’ll often hear me say “you can put the milk on the counter” instead of “NO! Don’t put the milk on the floor!” or “you can play nicely with your sister” instead of “stop being a butthead to antagonizing your sister” It’s tricky. It takes thought, and sometimes, I don’t have a thought to spare.

Parenting takes so much work. We’re molding minds, shaping human beings, helping them to figure out the world around them. It’s overwhelming and scary. And sometimes, it’s rewarding. But others, other times it just takes so much work. My brain gets so bogged down with different ways to handle situations. I think about parenting my kids all. the. time. I think about it too much – but I can’t help it. Most of the time I go with my gut, but sometimes my guts have shit for brains… (if you can tell me what movie that came from I’ll give you a big pat on the back ­čÖé It’s one of my favorites…) I’m punchy tonight, but really – most of the time my gut is right, but I can’t help but question it. These are little people we’re dealing with – and I’d hate to screw them up.

Positive parenting is tough – especially when I’m not sure that I’m always a positive person. Trying is the best we can do, I just hope it’s always enough.



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3 responses to “Parenting with less no’s… possible?

  1. I understand that. I’d also like to not hear the word no or mine coming from my children! ­čśë


  2. I hear ya. Trying to not screw a person up is hard work. At the end of the day, as long as we do our best, I think they’ll know. As long as they know how much we love them, everything else comes secondary. Still, if only we could ensure a future of happiness and personal success for them. That’s the dream, I guess.

  3. We were talking about this a bit the other day, weren’t we? I’m having deja vu! But seriously, I agree…I don’t want every other word coming out of my mouth to be “no,” “stop,” “don’t,” but it’s too easy to fall into that rut. And on the other extreme, sometimes I find myself over-thinking it, or explaining too much!

    It’s such a learning experience, isn’t it?

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