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Come one, come all. Take a gander at our excursions whether great or small. Add in your two cents and you may be surprised what you get in return! Uhh...probably nothing but a good laugh.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My New Mantra

"Don't eat rocks!" and what does he hear? "Eat Rocks!" Instead, "Spit it out."

So here's my thing. Robert is starting to get into things--no surprise, he's 10 months old, completely expected. It dawned on me the first couple weeks---why do people say "No" as the baby is reaching for the stereo, the CD's, tearing books, etc.? No is a response to a question.

Mom, can I sleep over at Grandma's? No, not tonight. Mom, can we buy this new toy? No, we don't need it. Mom, can I have ice cream for dinner? Hmmmmm, that's a tough one--go ask your Dad.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for telling kids "No" and teaching them they can't have everything their little hearts desire. No means no, because I'm the Mom that's why.

So here's my new mantra--it's stemmed from my Child Development class in college. TELL CHILDREN WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO DO INSTEAD OF WHAT THEY CAN'T DO OR A WEIRDLY PLACED "NO", an answer to a question they didn't ask. For example: "Get down", "Let go", "Stop", "Come here", "Shut the door", "Stay away", I'm just pulling these out a hat here--not literally. I use the first 3 a lot, with a very occasional "No". I use "No" when he looks at me. . . . . before he pounds on the doll cabinet or stereo or whatever, followed by "get down"--because usually he's pulled himself up to something. Or just when a habitual "No" gets out.

In my mind telling him what I'd like him to do, instead of whatever he's doing, actually teaches him something. On the other hand, just saying "No", it's like I expect him to already know what he's supposed to do or not do without having taught him in the first place. As his parents it is our job to teach him the difference between right and wrong. The more he learns what's right, the more he will recognize right. and vice versa. Then as he gets older he will know what he's NOT supposed to do, because we've taught him, and if he does it anyway? Well, that's when he gets a swat.

So when it comes down to it, I think we--society in general--have established an improper use of the word "no". I'm trying to use "no" in its appropriate usage. AND . . . . we'll see how long it lasts :)