China Girl

International adoption through the eyes of a new father.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Does it always have to be "NO" ?

It seems like that is all I say to this child anymore. Alex, put that down!, Alex, put that back!, Alex, get out of there, are you getting my drift? Well I woke up this morning and realized exactly how much I tell this child "NO" and I started feeling bad. Am I feeling bad because I didn't gate off or put the things up that I don't want her messing with or touching, or do I just feel that she needs to learn what she can and cannot play/mess with.

For example, mommy left her purse where Alex could get into it, should I be telling Alex "no" don't mess with mommies purse, or should I pick it up and put it where she cannot get into it? These are the kind of thoughts that I have been dealing with lately. See now I believe that she really should learn what she can and cannot play with by us letting her know weather it's allowed or not. Should I really have to get up and move it or should I just keep telling her "NO"?

You know Faye and I still haven't really baby-proofed the house, we just pretty much stay on top of things, she does know a lot of the things that she is allowed to mess with, for example when I am cooking I have no problems with her opening the cabinets and pulling out the pots and pans, it only takes me a second to put them up when she is done, but right behind the cabinet is about a half dozen bottles of wine on a rack that she just really hasn't tried to touch lately because I keep telling her "NO". Now I do keep a pretty good eye on her due to if she broke one of those bottles there would be glass everywhere. I just keep thinking that if I keep telling her "NO" she won't mess with them anymore. But here is the thought, what happens when I begin trusting her and stop watching her every second of the day, and she does get a hold of one of those bottles? I know, I know I keep answering my own questions, but do I really need to put them up or just keep telling her "NO" and keep in the back of my mind that things are going to get broken and this is just a lesson in life?

See my point here, or does it keep going in circles?

Next week I am going and getting her drivers license, at the rate I am expecting this child to grow up she will be driving.


You know I just don't want my child to be that one that everyone talks about after you leave someones house. You know the one that is out of control and no one wants to invite you back over because your kids? I guess it bothers me when I'm out at a resturant and someones kid is running all over the place and you just want to get up and slap the parents, this is who I don't want to be. I truely understand that kids are kids, but what about the couple that is out for the night away from their kids, should they have to put up with yours???

****NOTE IF THIS IS YOU, THEN KINDLY STOP****no-one wants to go out to dinner and have it interrupted by your out of control kids. If you want to let your kids act like animals, then take them to the zoo.

Does this make it alright to keep saying "NO"

****I tell my child everyday that I love her, I praise her for all the good. I really don't want to sound like I am raising a soldier, I know that she is just a baby. I just wonder if it is good to be saying "NO" all the time? How much of the day should you spend telling her "NO"? Do you just keep telling her until she gets it or do you take the problem(s) out of the equation? Todd>>>>


  • At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Arlette Davis said…

    Hi Faye and Todd! Love all the recent pictures. I can't wait to see Alex again in person. We all love her here in Willard.

    Todd, you're doing a great job with Alex. Disciplining and raising a child is a big deal as you have expressed. I am in a parenting class at church and we discuss the same kind of things that you are wondering and even after 4 children I have found that there are no absolutes in this area. It's a lot up to you using your good judgement...which you seem to have a good handle on. One thing I have found helpful as a mother and as a teacher is to give your child as many choices in a day as possible. She's a little young right now, but very soon...if not will find her more and more having a mind of her own. Go with it! For example, If you're going out and it really matters to you or Faye that she is dressed well, pick out two outfits and let her choose which one of the two she'll wear. Other times, when it doesn't matter what she looks like, let her experiment with her clothes and even if she doesn't match, tell her she did a great job and she'll feel proud of herself all day long! You won't have to tell her No so much in the future if she takes part in some of the decision making. Also, if you're worried about saying No so much because it has a negative connotation, then maybe you could try making statements in a positive way that will give you the same end result. At school I write my class rules like this, for example: Do work quietly...instead of "no talking during work time". At home it would be, "Alex, play with your doll" as you take away the thing she shouldn't play with and hand her the doll. Also, I remember one time going shopping with Aunt Sis on a rainy day when there were puddles everywhere. Normally, I would have told my child to stay out of the puddles. That is just a normal reaction in my opinion. But Aunt Sis took Autumn and made a game out of stomping on every puddle from the car to the store. I realized that there really is no harm in jumping in puddles. It was fun for her, it gave here exercise and worked on gross motor skills and what harm was there really? I think sometimes I feel like I'm on Police Patrol because I feel so responsible for every move my children make...(I don't want to be that parent whose child ruins your day out!We're really funny about our children behaving in public!)... that sometimes I forget about the exploring and discovery that every child needs to learn. Like I said in the beginning, there are no absolutes...or should I say, there are very few absolutes in child rearing. You absolutely love your daughter and you absolutely want her to be safe and healthy but everything else is based on variables. Keep doing what you're doing and have confidence in yourself. You're not hurting her by saying no. She will grow up appreciating that her boundaries are well defined as she makes decisions that eventually will have consequences. You want those consequences to be positive and having boundaries defined will aid her in achieving that! Alex is a very lucky little girl! Give her a little squeeze for me! Arlette

  • At 7:05 AM, Anonymous Gillian said…

    I think if you are feeling unhappy about the number of 'no's' you are hearing yourself saying then you probably do need to re-evaluate your child proofing. It is important to teach 'no' but to much of it can make a child reticent to try new things or explore. You want your baby to do a lot of interacting with her environment because that is how she develops physically and intellectually. Playing is her hard work. Because of that it is nice to reach a compromise in which some things are no but most things in reach are designed for play and interaction. There are plenty of times as well that a second thought may make a no unneccesary. Say, the child has found a box of kleenex. You may feel the urge to either say 'no' or take it away. If you think about it for a minute, as long as you are there to prevent the child eating tissue for lunch there is no reason not to let them play with it. You can probably recover most of the contents later and, if you can't, all that fine motor manipulation will have been well worth the cost. So, romove dangerous things, keep the things you have to deny to a limited number and make the area overall a training area. That would be my response

  • At 7:02 PM, Anonymous said…

    Wow, I love the 2 previous comment! I think it's importantand such a great idea to replace the activity being denied (for whatever reasons) as Arlette Davis mentioned in her post.


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