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  • Writer's pictureEvelyn Mendal, LMHC

The Power of NO

Are you even a toddler parent if your child doesn’t reject 90 percent of the ideas and directives you give in a day? “NO” is probably the most-used word of every 2, 3, and 4 year-old out there. And while this word can drive adults absolutely bonkers, it is also such an important milestone in a child’s life.

You see, “NO” represents assertion. A child who is recognizing that they are not the same person as the adult or peer that is telling them what to do. They are a separate human. They are their own human...and they get to make decisions too.

Do you want your children to grow up asserting themselves? Do you want them to grow up with the ability to speak their desires, even when they don’t align with the desires of the people around them? Do you want your children to know that they can have their own voice?

“NO” is a powerful word. How many adults do you know that have a hard time saying “no” or setting boundaries? The world can become overwhelming, and even scary for people who cannot assert themselves. Those same people can easily lose touch with their intuition and become insecure.

NOW, we are not over here trying to imply that your “NO”-saying child gets to dictate the rules. She still has to take a bath. She still has to go to bed. She still has to hold your hand while crossing the street. In other words, boundaries and limits still apply, even when children may not want them to. Instead, we’re highlighting the fact that when your children feel confident enough to assert themselves, it is considered a good thing in development. So, parents, if you’re hearing a ton of “No’s” in your day, you’re doing it right!

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