Saying NO to Your Children

bric-a-brac home
Model ship
Flickr-User: Joe Flintham

My wife and I let our two boys sleep with us in the same bed. We never dictated when they should nap, never took the bottle away from them, never snatched binkies from their mouths. We removed all objects from our home that could hurt them and so eliminated the problem of needing to yell at them "Don't touch that!" or "Keep away from the coffee table!" or "Watch out for the vase!" or anything at all.

That is to say, we were practicing Attachment Parenting.

I know parents who spend the entire day saying "NO!" to their children. NO this and NO that. So much Sturm und Drang and yelling and screaming and all of it quite unnecessary.

In other words, we let our children be carefree children and we loved them dearly and rarely if ever had to use the word NO to them.

Today, my children are the envy of any parent who knows them. Smart, decent, non-violent, non-smoking, non-drinking, non-drug-taking, non-womanizing, non-wasteful human beings.

Want to have the same kind of children? Love and spoil 'em and stop saying NO all day.

Do Not Say 'NO' too Often

If you say "No" to your child more than once a week or so then you have too much unnecessary junk in your home. I suggested to a mother once that she could have less stress in her life if she got rid of all her bric-a-brac that her child was always touching. But she wouldn't follow my advice, her view is that her child should not inconvenience her way of life. However, the end result was even more inconvenience while she spent most of her tedious day keeping her child from playing or touching or damaging her stuff.

If you have a toddler at home and you still have gewgaws and knickknackery (such as the model ship above) around the house where the child may play then you are not ready to have children. Put away the silly stuff and attend to child-rearing, for God's sake.

We should save a NO for those times when it's really important. How is a child to distinguish the urgent message of danger of "NO it's hot!" or "NO don't cross the street" from a thousand other trivial and unimportant no, no, no, no, no, nos issued during the day?

When my children were old enough so that coffee tables, lamps, fruit bowls, flower pots, china closets, antique statues, Ming vases, clocks, stereos, and other bric-a-brac were no longer a danger to them, we brought those things back from the attic.

My children knew that when I said NO, it was something that they absolutely, positively, urgently needed to listen to.

### End of my article ###

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