By Anita Rau Badami.
First appeared – http://www.yowoto.com/posts/the-truth-behind-a-mothers-no
Have you ever thought why do we really say ‘no’ to our children?
Why do children pick up this word so quickly?
There’s a right NO.
And there’s a lazy, selfish NO.
The right ‘no’ is obviously uttered when we have to discipline our child or warn her against any danger that’s lurking around.
And the other ‘no’ flies out of our mouth when we get lazy, when we get selfish.
And that’s the ‘no’ we probably say the most.
I notice little I standing in front of my cupboard. I freeze.
I start imagining what’s going to happen next.
In my head, I see a mountain of clothes.
I see the ironed clothes scattered around, topped with some bags, scarfs, some hangers, and perched on top like a luscious red cherry is little I, grinning.
When I see that in my head, I’m already tired.
Because it’s going to be a new addition to my never-ending to-do list.
That’s it! I’m angry, irritable because who’s going to clean that mess?!
And the first word that flies out my mouth is, NO.
Even before little I has reached the cupboard.
Even before anything has happened.
As much as I’m glad about not seeing the pile of clothes on the floor, I hate this lazy, selfish ‘no’.
Children are explorers.
And we must let them do what they do best, explore.
Touch this, pull that, see this, feel that.
Otherwise how are they going to discover new things?
Next time, little I decides to peel an orange herself and makes a complete mess of it, I’ll push the selfish ‘no’ under my tongue and not even grimace.
When she decides to pull all the things out of the cupboard, I’ll let her, because that’s how, she’ll also discover putting them back in.