Welcome to Kira's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

Life with young children can be challenging, but with the support and advice of friends, we can feel empowered and thankful for the blessing of being a Mom.

My musings are those of a self-proclaimed attachment-parenting Tiger mom, who juggles full-time mommying with a small (but growing!) baby-related business. I hope some of my thoughts help you
Enjoy your day, Enjoy your night, and Enjoy your kids!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Say The Magic Word

There is a magic word for moms. It’s not the child’s magic word “please”. Mom’s magic word is “no”. Just as much as we need to teach our children to get comfortable with saying “please,” we have to get comfortable with saying “no”.  This is a pitfall for many moms, especially those of us who are naturally confrontation-averse.

“No” is the most important word in our small child’s life. It keeps him from danger, it teaches him limits, boundaries, and is the key to guiding him to appropriate behavior and relationships as he grows. Without “no” a child’s world is overwhelming and confusing. We all need limits to survive – just think how insignificant we adults feel when we contemplate the idea of an infinite universe. If we had no sense of boundaries of our home, country, and world, we’d feel emotionally and spiritually lost. We rely on the idea of the finite in order to live a normal life.

Teaching your child to be comfortable with “no” is the first step in helping him feel control over his environment. He can decide between options, he feels empowered to choose what he likes, and he can begin to decipher what is “right” and “wrong”.

For those moms who need some pointers on how to welcome “no” into their vocabulary, I recommend William Ury’s The Power of A Positive No (note the link on the side of this blog). This book is truly transformational and brings new perspective on the dynamic between “no” and “yes”.  In brief, he shares the idea that for every “no” that you say, there is an underlying “yes”. So, for example, when you tell your child “no, you may not have another lollypop before dinner” you are also saying “yes, you may have a healthy dinner very soon.” Or “no you may not play before doing homework” is also “yes, you may get your homework out of the way so that you can play until bedtime.” In more extreme examples, NO to running into the street means YES to playing safely, NO to interrupting mom on the phone means YES to the value of respect and patience. And NO to hitting means YES to learning other ways of handling aggression.

Of course, your children need to hear your “yes” choices as well. You must clearly communicate with your child what she CAN have, CAN do, and what behaviors you WILL reward. I don’t feel the amount of “yeses” necessarily need to balance the “no’s” (it’s really about quality not quantity) because yes is helpful in a different way… more on that in tomorrow’s blog :).

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