The Potential of “No”

Thank you for joining me in some collaborative parenting discussion.


When a little child becomes acutely aware of the fact that the word “no” carries a very high energy at times something mysterious happens.

“No” can turn into a battle.

The most important thing to remind one’s self of when “no” erupts from either the child or the parent is that “no” also carries a great potential for looking at things in a different light.

Sometimes “no” is the first thing that comes to mind when an undesirable circumstance presents itself. Of course “no” often materializes when safety is of concern.

For example, a little child runs towards the street and a parent understandably says “no”. Now, with a certain amount of emphasis a child may respond to the “no” in a favorable manner, but there is another option.

With the same goal to preserve a child’s well being, the parent can take this particular situation as an opportunity to discover the potential of “no.” What is the imminent danger? The street? Not in and by itself. The real danger is moving cars – that can also be present in driveways and parking lots. Instead of yelling “no,” the parent could just as easily say, “Watch for cars!”

In that one small shift the child’s awareness is brought to the possible danger and the parent makes a guiding impact that serves both the parent and child without the negative energy of “no.”

This doesn’t apply only to toddlers. The power of “no” exists for anyone walking the planet – and especially children and teens budding into their own life experience.

How can you neutralize any sense of “no” energy between you and your child by focusing on the opposite side of the coin – bringing awareness of what you or they do want to have happen?

More articles to come on the subject of the word “no”.


Are you are struggling as a parent? If so, I’d like to share something invaluable with you: hope. If you would like to change how you respond when parenting feels intense, I invite you to consider this challenge.

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One Response to The Potential of “No”

  1. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen November 5, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    It took me a while before I realized how watered-down the word ‘no’ has become with most kids. Now, I rarely use it unless it’s all I have the time to yell when my daughter is doing something dangerous.

    It’s more helpful for me to explain rather than just say no. She seems to ‘get it’ better that way.

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