If I had a dollar – or 10 yen – for every time I had said “No”, I’d be one rich mamma!
Unfortunately the “no” never came with a money bank… or the incentive to put a 10 yen coin aside for more positive days.
As I’m learning about stress and my child from various books, I’m also learning about conversations and one book simply stated that a “no” always end the conversation. I may look at that slightly different than the author as my no has often been followed by the “why not” and “but I just want to…”, but anyway; I do get the point – A no does end a conversation (or puts it in a negative trajectory). So I try to learn how to not say “no”… let me be quite honest and straight forward with you: That is NOT an easy thing to do.
My “no’s” are so embedded into my own childhood and so far 9 years of being a parent and oh dear, is it ever difficult to zip the lip, stop and think and then go “Yes… and…” – Like this evening she called out from her room “mom, do you know how to catch a cockroach?”…”eh… no…. what??” to which she answered “then you’re not the one I’m calling!”. Couldn’t really come up with any “yes… and…” reply to that one!
But when I do manage to do it, and also come up with whatever has to follow the “and” part (trust me, that takes imagination!), it does work and my little darling daughter gets the positive vibe and so do I… it’s so positive it’s almost entirely unbelievable.
What it hasn’t done much for – yet anyway – is her anxiety. I was told that the positive vibe would reduce the stress and I’m sure it does, but so far the results hasn’t been seen. Last week she panicked in school and I was called to pick her up. It has reduced the stress in me and there is less strain between us… wrong – there is no less strain between us, it’s just of a more productive kind. Hmm; e.g. we have some tensions when she decides to follow her friends and play after school when I specifically told her to go home straight after because she has a playdate. E.g. more productive arguments. For me, it’s less stress. For her, it’s just another tense moment.
By the way – I did manage to catch and carry out the before mentioned cockroach!