I have a one and a half year old boy in my home and I think we have already reached the “terrific twos.” If you’ve been my friend long enough, you know I don’t love the term, “terrible twos”… I like to think that kids have big personalities and are so smart, coupled with their little bodies and limited vocabulary, result in some tantrums.
Thankfully, my son Jett hasn’t had too many terrible tantrums, but he does say NO, a lot. He also says yes, and all kinds of other words & mini sentences. I know I’m his mama, but I think he is pretty dang smart.
He’s also into everything–he climbs furniture, jumps off of my bed, and is curious about, well, everything. So, he hears the word no, a lot in his day. I try my best to use phrases like, “Uh oh, let’s not do that…how about this..” But you know how things go, sometimes there’s just no other way to get the point across, like saying, NO.
Last week, we skipped Jett’s napped to spend some time at the pool. It seemed like a good idea until he started to act like a one year old who missed his nap. Haha. He started whining and then started to say NO to me over and over again. Some of his NO’s were stern and some of them were in a super sad, rescue you me mama from my delirium, kind of way.
After a series of NO’s, someone told me, “You’re going to have to break him of that.” Um…I took a few seconds, took a breath and simply replied, “No, you don’t break them of that.” I don’t believe kids should be broken of anything…but that’s for a different BLOG, a different day.
I realized in that moment that many of us, especially when developing/nurturing/ teaching our children, feel the word, NO is a word or a term to be broken or a word that shouldn’t be used as often as our YES.
Of course, when I am asking my child to do something and he responds, “NO!” I need to show him how he can express how that makes him feel, by continuing to honor his mom.
But, where I had my BLOG moment was when I realized that teaching our children to say, NO is just as important as teaching them to say, YES!
I love to say YES! So much, that I often take on too much. Our girls started pre school this year and on day one, the teacher asked if any of us would be interested in being a Room Parent. I checked the box YES, immediately…without even thinking about it. Well, we are 3 weeks in and I just quit my Room Mom job! I’m not joking. Haha (ok, maybe not quit, but kindly asked if we could find someone who could give this important job the full attention & detail it so deserves).
After I said, YES, I got the information and the Room Parent Handbook. Friends, they have a Handbook. I thought being a Room Parent meant handing out Chick Fil A to the kids for their school party. Well, it’s actually is a lot more than that. In a different season of my life, I could totally rock the Room Parent role, but in this season, I can’t. Not well, anyways.
Could I spin one more plate? Sure, would that increase my chances of dropping and breaking the plates I’m currently spinning? Yes.
Quiting my Room Parent job was incredibly difficult for me. In my mind, saying no meant that I couldn’t do it. Instead of asking myself, “Can I do this well?” I was asking myself, “Can I do this?” For most of us, we can answer YES to the second question for pretty much anything–we are all capable people. But just because we are capable doesn’t mean we should say, YES.
I have seen people be great at saying YES, but often times to the wrong things. And I have seen people be great at saying NO, but often to the wrong things.
So, instead of viewing, NO as something to be broken, let us see saying NO as something to be nurtured & developed. Saying NO is a powerful thing. Doesn’t make you weak, doesn’t make you less capable–just helps you do what God has called you to do, well.
“Learn to say “no” to the good and the advantageous, in order to receive the best.” –Author unknown
DARE: say no to the good, so you can say yes to the great.