Photography by Briana Lindsey Photography
Before we were even talking about kids, my husband and I went out to lunch with a couple of friends who had toddlers. And by the end of the meal, there was one single word that was just ringing in my head. I heard this one word over and over and over and from that day, I vowed that when I had kids one day, that I would never ever use that word.
Want to know what it is? No. The word is “no.”
Ever since that day, I cringe when I hear a parent tell their child no. Okay, okay. There’s obviously a time and a place and kids need to learn right from wrong but in my eyes, there are so many situations that could be given a positive light for a positive learning experience and “no” is just such a negative word that we use far too often.
At first, I had a lot of trouble with it. I literally couldn’t think of replacements for the word no but as I work on it more and I more, it’s becoming easier and I feel like I am parenting in such a positive way. Not that Ava needs “no” that much right now but I’m glad I started training myself early so that she will grow up learning right from wrong but not thinking “she’s such a mean, grumpy mom.” Okay, she may think that at some point anyways but the least I can do is try my best.
Here’s an example that happens ALL THE TIME.
There’s a little rocking chair at one of Ava’s best friends’ house that she just loves. Every time we go over for a play date, she bolts straight for that chair. And all she wants to do is climb on it...and stand on it. I am fine with her rocking back and forth but the second she stands up it’s one big fat NO.
Now instead of saying “No, Ava” when she stands on the rocking chair, I can say “Ava, please sit on your bottom.” It’s giving her the same message but it’s so much more positive.
Or when she decides to grab my phone 300 times a day to play with it, instead of saying “no” I can say, “Ava, please give me my phone” or “Let’s play with one of your toys instead!”
I want to be positive and I want to be upbeat and I want Ava to grow up knowing her mom isn’t just some old grump who says no all of the time just to say no. I truly believe that framing life in a positive light makes a world of a difference for Ava’s childhood, for her development, and even more my own my life.
Let’s keep it positive, folks!