Parsonage Parables

Hearing No

What is the word most often said to and by toddlers? NO!
It’s part of their natural curiosity to explore things that will bring a No from the parents. They are also repeating the word often said to them.

As an elementary teacher and principal, the students that struggled the most in beginning school were students that didn’t have a lot of No in their lives. They had a hard time sitting in desks, lining up, or taking direction from a teacher, because they weren’t used to No. This continued, unfortunately, to the parents. If they didn’t like what the teacher said, they’d bring it to the principal.

Even saw it at the higher grades and into college. Instead of allowing their kids to learn difficult lessons, there were times parents “helicopter-ed” in to save them from being responsible and from consequences. Students learned how to manipulate a No.

We have a society that doesn’t want to hear No. It’s my right! I want something regardless! How it suites me is most important! How dare you say NO!

Sexual assault is the inability to hear No. Abusing store owners, wait staff, or other humans is the inability to hear No. Believing conspiracy theories is saying No to the facts. Moving things up that “ladder” may be an inability to hear No.

It isn’t always fun to hear No. A project you’re passionate about gets shot down, is disappointing. A job or promotion you interviewed for and didn’t get, is crushing. A vacation you looked forward to has been cancelled, which is defeating. A doctor says you can’t do an activity, is disheartening.

Accepting a No is an act of humility. There may be a need to protect yourself and your time and say No. It’s also learning that No might mean, just not now. A No might mean it doesn’t meet with certain priorities, but it might with someone or someplace else.

But it might just mean No. Deal with it toddler.

One thought on “Hearing No

  1. I won’t bore you with the details, but several years ago I met a person who was traveling around America. I asked what is the dominant thought you have America. “American’s have not learned the meaning of ‘no'”.

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