In a moment of raised anger, frustration or just sheer parenting exhaustion these two “N’ words roll off our tongue without even a second thought, but sometimes they commit us to extreme actions that we often regret later when things have calmed down a bit.
I remember after leaving school I had a six month job working for a family on a farm in Scotland – an “au pair” style position. They had a baby of 9 months old and as she started to crawl and subsequently walk, the farm kitchen – the hub of the home – became her adventure playground. That was fine, except it was also where the dogs slept, the big AGA oil-fired stove was and a myriad of other dangerous (for a baby) permanent fixtures were. I had to be on high alert for her safety all the time. As she shifted from babble to recognizable words we heard her say, while standing half a meter in front of the stove “NO DON’T TOUCH” as clear as anything! Those were her first words!!
Can you imagine how many times she must have heard them before she said them herself?! We need, where possible, to limit the “NO’s” by removing things that are not safe to handle and use distraction to encourage positive exploration rather than shutting down our toddlers natural curiosity with all the “No, no, no’s”.
Just for today – count how many times you can avert saying “NO” by consciously creating another pathway for your toddler, and check the result – when we are always shutting down our child’s creative curiosity, we are also creating a frustration level which over time builds up into a rage. Channeling their curiosity, keeps the positive brain chemicals pumping, and harmony around the home.
So reserve “NO” for situations which are of safety or truth and keep “NEVER” for when you really mean it.