This means, necessarily, that we have to find ways to let them say no - to us - in the safe and supportive environment of the parent/child relationship. This requires a bit of mindfulness, wisdom, compassion, and patience on our part, and it requires that we slow down in the moment to look within and get curious about our own resistance to the word, “No.”
Keep these questions in mind if you react with anger or frustration to a “No”:
1. Is it always “bad” for our children to say, “No?”
2. Isn’t it good to learn how and when to say, “No?” After all, his is how we set healthy boundaries and protect ourselves.
3. Am I reacting to my own inner discomfort and duress or responding to the needs of this little human in this moment?
4. Am I parenting in this moment, or are my conditioned emotional reactions doing the parenting?
When it’s not a dangerous situation and doing so won’t put anyone in harm’s way experiment with letting them “get away with it.” Let them choose their own course sometimes. Allow them the opportunity to make some mistakes (with no finger-wagging or I-told-you-so’s). Let them enjoy the freedom to say “No” while you enjoy the freedom of letting go.