Let’s start at the beginning, in your family business, that is the business of being a family, you are The Boss.
For those of you who err on the side of the Agile, you are the Thought Creator and Game Changer.
In real life, you are The Mother!
You therefore make the decisions, and create your life.
Have you noticed how some families seem so calm, so happy and easy going? Ever wondered why?
The secret is one single word, used with power and integrity. One word which should be undertaken seriously, almost reverently and with due consideration. That word: NO.
No means No and there that is that. This is the secret to a happy contented family.
It feels counter intuitive doesn’t it?
One would think that saying YES to everything would keep everyone happy but, as I discovered early on in my Parenting journey and layer learned in a more academic sense, as a parent or carer No its your Saviour Word.
I advise strong clear and consistent use of your No for the First five years, in order to establish strong boundaries within which type children can grow.
Of course I advocate clear reasoning and full explanations to support the No, but these should be only used weber it is clear there may be a lack of understanding Never as a way to enforce the No. Essentially No is a standalone word requiring no further explanation. ..the words which follow it
Can only serve to diminish is awesome powers.
Let’s explore further.
A baby, under 1 is in your arms. ..he strikes out at your face, it hurts you. I recommend instantly grasping the offending arm firmly and saying ‘NO.’
If the hitting continues simply repeat each and every time. No explanation, no punishment and also (most importantly) no giggling at how ‘cute’ it is to see a baby smashing someone in the face.
In a short time the child will tire of the restriction and look elsewhere for entertainment. We will continue this basic response if said child hits the dog, cat or another child.
Because we hold a value of non violence. We do not strike each other. We do not hurt others. It is a Core Value and one vital to teach each and every child in our family.
Evidently you can’t teach this Core Value verbally to a 1 year old. So how to instil this value from the start? By use of a strong and confident NO.
I’m sure I am not alone in being aware of the unspoken rules within your family of origin. Each family had its own idiosyncratic rules: don’t sit in dad’s chair; clean your plate at mealtime; we all watch The Antiques Roadshow on a Sunday after tea. (Fill in your own….go on, write a list of your families Unspoken Rules- I bet they start a great debate if shared here)
These rules were all put in place in infancy. ..no one ever actually told you not to, you just sort of, knew.
This, is the power of a strong and consistent No. Something sadly lacking in many modern families and the effects can be seen far and wide in the amount of anti-social behaviour we see on the streets and the amount of children being diagnosed with depression, stress or anxiety.
‘So why would a weak NO lead to childhood anxiety?’ I hear you ask and it’s a very good question, thanks for the prompt.
Generally speaking, anxiety stems from a lack of trust in the self; a sense of fear for the future and habitual fear of making a mistake or something going wrong.
A child raised with a strong NO to guide her will feel safe and secure at least regarding what is or isn’t expected of her. Regardless of her dislike of aspects of her upbringing she will have faith in the Core Values of her family and how to operate within them.
At this point I am prompted to add that a strong, consistent No is different to constant disapproval, criticism and shaming.
A healthy No is offered from a place of Loving Guidance with only one intention: to support the child in growing in a healthy, well balanced manner into a confident independent adult. Disapproval, criticism and shaming are more likely to have the opposite effect.
So what do you think? Could your life do with a bit more NO and a little less stress?
Let me know what you think and what unspoken rules you grew up with.