As my son started talking his first words, we were all very excited. In fact we were so excited that we wanted him to talk like us from the very beginning. Everyday we would wait to hear some new word from him. As the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months; new words were added into his vocabulary every single day.
So by the age of 2, he knew his full name, his parents’ names, names of his maternal and paternal grandparents, and names of the maids too. He also knew the days of the week! He knew the names of various modes of transport too. And he could say a few rhymes, though not very clearly. It was absolutely amazing.
But, by the time he was about 2 and half years old, there was the word ‘no’ that kept popping in every now and then from him. But, I ignored it thinking the phase will pass. Then, a few days later, our conversation would be something like this:
“Do you want to go the bathroom?”
“Come, let’s have lunch.”
“OK then, come we’ll read a story book.”
Then I asked him to do all the things that he enjoys doing.
“Come, let’s go down to play.”
“Do you want to have icecream or chocolates?”
“Come, let’s watch your favourite cartoon..”
A string of ‘nos’.. I was getting very worried. It was like he had forgotten all other words and the only word he knew was ‘no’. What happened to him suddenly? I kept asking myself.
Then, on deep introspection, I realised that all this was my doing only. I realised that a few days back when I wasn’t quite in the mood to do anything, I had refused him everything that he had asked me to do. And now, these were are the consequences of my refusal.
This ‘no’ phase lasted for exactly 2 days. In fact, after the first day, I stopped asking him anything. He would come on his own and tell me what he wanted. Then, after this phase was over, I was waiting with baited breath for him to ask me any thing; any damn thing. I had decided I would say a ‘yes’ to whatever it was! Even if is the thing that I do not like; I would say yes. If he will ask me to go to the beach with him at 12 noon or if he would make me ring the doorbells of the neighbours for no specific reason or if he wants to use the walls for painting his creations; whatever he would ask me; I would say a loud and clear ‘Yes’!
So I waited.
Guess what he asked me?
“Mummy, do you want to say No to me??”
I was speechless. I kept opening and closing my mouth like a fish, but no words were ready to come out. I told him, “Seriously? Of all the things in the world, you had to ask me this?” He gave a nod and went about doing his shenanigans.
How smart these little ones can get? I realised that we have to be so careful with them. Our actions, our words have such immense effects on them. It’s like they are little monkeys waiting to imitate each and everything we do!
So, I wish you all lovely parents a very good luck in raising these little monkeys!!
Pic courtesy : Google images
Author’s note : This post first appeared on mycity4kids parenting platform.