A two-letter word like NO can create such a negative impact on our mind, but it hardly shakes my two-year old pumpkin. She is immune to it. It’s possible that the over-familiarity of the word has killed it for her.
Nowadays, I hardly open my mouth without saying ‘no’ to her for something or the other.
“Do not touch the knife’, “No, don’t go near the dog. It will bite you”, “Do not jump on the street. The cars will bump into you” and a lot of other similar don’ts. But as I said earlier, it hardly rattles her.
If only the story ended here. Sigh! As luck would have it, she too has got fond of this word and doesn’t hesitate to use it whenever possible which is like, almost always.
“No, mamma. Aanya sleep no”, “No touching doll”, “Daal, no, subzi, no” and other similar nos. And the worst part is that it is next to impossible to convert her Nos to Yeses.
I don’t know who is outdoing who. But if it’s a competition, then no one’s winning. I can’t actually recall when it all started. Some say it must be the terrible two phase. May be. It appears terrible enough to me. Or maybe they come programmed like that. Who knows!
I read recently that you should say no to your child as little as possible because No has a far deeper and more adverse effect on the child’s psyche. Reinforce your point to the child positively. Chances are that he/she will respond positively and cooperate with you easily. Never to say no to trying new things, I wholeheartedly thought of practising it.
I thought of different things, positive ones, to say to her while dealing with situations. At one point of time, I realized that by the time I was done thinking and coming up with a solution, the deed was already done. And on those meagre times when I actually succeeded in thinking of a timely positive reply, she looked at me from sideways (yes kids do that; they want to see how far they can needle you) and still didn’t listen to me.
On one such instance, “If you dance on the table, the glass will break. You will fall down and get hurt. Then my little baby will cry.” I mimicked the actions of my little daughter crying. She listened to me and got down from the glass top. Hurray! I shouted inwardly. It seemed to be working finally.
But I might have congratulated myself too soon. Because immediately, she started banging the rolling pin that she got from the kitchen drawer on the glass top.
All my good intentions flew right out of the window. Parenting can’t be learnt from a book, I realized that. The next instant, “Aanya, I said No. Listen to mama when she says no.” Did she listen to me? Did she stop for a while? I think so…..not.
So what is your story?