Life Lessons from a Toddler, NO!

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My life as a mom is constantly evolving each day I feel I am learning something new. I am often surprised at how much my toddler is learning from me and also the life lessons I can learn from him. Alexander just turned 20 months old. He is a full speed toddler and so much fun. He latest favorite word is the discovery of no. I am not sure he fully understands what is means to say no as sometimes he says, “no” to things I know he loves and wants like bananas and Elmo. With this new discovery he has me thinking about this word more. I find it interesting that I have a tendency to teach him not to say the word. I notice myself coaching him to learn other possible words like, yes please and thank you.

Alexander helping me plant herbs

Alexander helping me plant herbs

As I have been observing him I got to thinking that the word no although typically used in a negative sense could also have positive meaning as well. We use the word no to help protect ourselves; to distinguish between what we want and don’t want. Yet somehow we are conditioned not to use this word too often. Everyone always wants to hear “yes” we don’t like being told, “no” at any age it seems.

The other day as Alexander was walking around the house chanting, “no, no, no, no, no, no” I thought to myself maybe he is on to something, maybe I should be saying no more. Maybe we would all be happier if we used the word no in a more constructive and conscious way. We all have the same amount of time each day yet most of us run around so busy. Why? Well, because we all have stuff to do, too many things we said yes to keep us so busy we are tired and unhappy. This revelation has me thinking, What if I used the word no more freely? What would it open up for me and by saying, “no” what do I get to say, “yes” to? If I say, “no” to volunteering at the day care do I get to say, “yes” to yoga and time for myself? If I say, “no” to a social event do I say, “yes” to a date night with my husband? If I say, “no” to caffeine do I say, “yes” to a better nights sleep?

Use your words. Say, "No" like a toddler.

Use your words. Say, “No” like a toddler.

What amazing things could happen if I used the word no like my toddler does? Well, maybe not quite as often as my toddler. I think the possibilities for more of what I want and what I say matters and less needless runaround is in my future.

 

What do you think? What could you say, “no” to and what does this action allow you to say yes to? I challenge you to consciously choose to say, “no” to something in the next week and see what it opens up for you. Wishing you the best.

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