Wednesday, May 6, 2009

An Exclamation Mark of Negativity

The other day Deacon told me that I am "always saying no".

It made me a little sad to hear him say that, and as I reflect on it- he is right.

I am always saying no.

just today...

"no, baby!" as I sprint after him as he runs across the front yard on his chubby little legs.

"no, ick!" as he tries to eat the Donut that just fell on the garage floor.

"NO!" as I catch Deacon and Roman trying to pull each other up the stairs with a rope.

"oh, no" when I look into their room and see every blanket, pillow, mattress, and cushion in the house piled on their bedroom floor.

I could go on...

"Stop!", "Get down!", "Not now!"

I kind of feel like my whole life is an exclamation mark of negativity.

I tried to talk to Deacon about it. I tried to explain that I am just trying to keep them safe. And they kind of keep coming up with unsafe ideas. Throwing rocks at the house for "practice", impaling themselves on the top of the fence, getting hung out to dry on a tree limb, putting the leaf bag over their heads...it is always something new.

And something that sets off an alarming "NNOOO!" from me.

I read this book that said that 80% of our interactions with our kids should be positive and only 20% should be negative (which includes even simple commands such as "put on your shoes").

I figured it out and to combat all of my commands, my "no's" and my "stops"; I need to be hugging, kissing and affirming at least one of them once every 17.8 seconds. All day long.

I'd better get started.

6 comments:

Rachel said...

Again, you've hit the nail on the head.

Who is that masked man?

Tough to win... said...

I felt bad too. So after they were in bed I got their aligator teeter-totter out of the rafters (which to their original request I didn't say "No," I said, "Soon.")

I went up to their room to let them know I had said "Yes," to the teeter-totter. Deacon looked at me quite skeptically. "But when are you going to get the sand-and-water table down too? Do you have to wait until it's warmer?"

I got that down too, though I didn't think it was time yet to put water in it. Deacon smiled. Score one for Dad.

"Dad, can we get out of bed and go to the garage and look at the teeter-totter and the sand and water table?"

"No. It's bed time."

< sigh >

Karla said...

So I just was telling Gina about you guys (again) and she said to say there is just a time, when with three boys, you have to say no alot. THEN I got home and read this!!!! Ha!
Love the new picture! Can you put it in a post too...cause then I can copy it and put it as my background on my computer.

Thia said...

I hear you. I too feel like I am saying that all the time or something negative. It is very tiring.

Heather of the EO said...

YES! I heard that for every negative a child needs seven positives to boost is self esteem back up to where it "should" be.

That terrifies me.

Mrs. Jo said...

This post was HYSTERICAL! Some days I think I am the queen of "no" too. The woman I linked to today talks about how she's always saying no too but now that she's dying and has about 6 weeks to live, she says "yes" a lot more! When I'm feeling low, I enjoy reading your blog and realizing there is another mom out there who understands the insanity and is in the trenches with me! I love, love, love your new header photo. Darling boys! It captures each of their personalities so well.