Tuesday, December 5, 2023

“NO!” is a Development-Stopping Word….

June 18, 2010 by  
Filed under Parenting From Balance©

Yelling or exclaiming “NO!” to stop a child works! 

“NO!!!” is GUARANTEED to stop a child in his tracks and turn their happy, healthy, neuron-growing science exploration into a tirade of tears in seconds.

So what do we do instead?

Well, unless your child is about to take a step into the path of a Mack truck, we take a big breath, and…

We look for the need…and offer a solution:

“What’s your plan?  Are you wanting to balance things?  Ummm…. my antique tiffany china won’t work because it may break.  How about using these rubber bowls instead?”

At Riviera PlaySchool “What’s your plan?” is a common question.

We, as teachers and parents, have a role where we provide some guidance, a lot of trust to allow our children the freedom to explore (and thus fuel their brain growth), and plenty of compassionate understanding that they are doing their best.

“Providing” a limit, to me, is “giving” help to my child with where he needs to set a limit on his actions so he can then connect with society (and ultimately not be an outcast.)  Understanding limits allows my child greater freedom.   When he understands society’s limits, he can choose consciously whether  he wants to be part of, or apart from, his peers.  And then he can develop empathy for others. (It’s all in the same bucket) 

All of us, including our children, really just want to connect.

The trick is that the limits must be age-appropriate.  We have greatly different expectations for 2 year olds than for 4 year old.  (If you have not had Early Childhood Development training you can read the series “Your 2 Year Old, Your 3 Year Old, Your 4 Year Old, etc. to understand what age-appropriate expectations means.) 

Bev Bos uses an analogy of a child starting out on top of a mountain.  They begin on the top of their mountain of egocentricity.  As they travel through their various developmental stages, they are slowly making their way down that mountain.  Society sits at the bottom of the mountain.  It is our job to guide them, down the mountain…  And I like to add, to guide them down that mountain with their gifts intact.

Lots of Love,


At Riviera PlaySchool in Redondo Beach, California, we provide 
a mindful program for the ‘Whole Child,’ inspired by the best of Attachment Parenting, Reggio Emilia, Bev Bos, Montessori, Waldorf and Non-Violent Communication.


One Response to ““NO!” is a Development-Stopping Word….”
  1. Melissa W. says:

    Great article- it’s easy to say “no” but harder to find other, more constructive, growth and dialogue producing ways to change/stop a behavior.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!