“No” seems to have become the most-spoken word in my vocabulary as of late. I should seriously keep a tally one day of how many times it slips out of my mouth. I would place money on it being over 100.
Ben goes for a splash in Vader‘s dog bowl: “No!”
Ben tries to shove his magnetic letters in the DVD player: “No!”
Ben throws his just-prepared meal off his highchair try and on to the floor: “No!”
Ben tries to heave himself off the changing table mid-change: “No!”
Ben makes a beeline for my wine glass: “NOOOOOOO!!!!!“
Then, a couple of nights ago I had an epiphany (over a glass of wine, of course). Ben was snoozing like a baby as I was chatting with one of my mommy-friends (Mom to 2 adorable tikes…that have successfully made it beyond toddlerhood). I commented on how much I have started to sound like a broken record with all of my “no’ing lately. She said to me “the best advice I can give you is that the less you can use the word “no” now, the more effective it will be down the line”. Rather than jumping to say “no” all the time, I should explain (calmly) why we don’t do [insert annoying/dangerous action here], and re-direct the little guy. That way, when he really is headed for danger (as in about to touch a hot stove or run in the middle of the road) and I yell out “NO!”, I may actually elicit the desired reaction from him. In theory.
I guess that I knew this- I DO try to explain why we don’t do things….but honestly, I do more so because I want to seem like less like “mean mommy” all the time, and I want him to think I am talking to him more than commanding him all of the time. HOWEVER, this advice couldn’t have come at a better time for me, as (admittedly) my patience has been getting a little short these days…and we can all use a helpful parenting reminder every now and again!
So, these last couple of days, I have been working uber conscientiously on reducing my usage of the word “no”….which, ps, is MUCH harder than it sounds:
“Toilets are not for blocks- only for going to the bathroom in.”
“You can’t splash in Vader’s bowl; he’ll have no water to drink.”
“We don’t knock over Mommy’s wine; that’s alcohol abuse.”
….and so on, and so forth.
So, thanks so much to my friend for her sweet reminder…I am a work in progress!! Anyone else finding themselves uttering “NO” a lot lately? Or have you been the recipient of any other helpful advice/reminders lately?