“No!” Is a Very Useful Word, But, It’s Not a Peace Word!”

Work on this blog post has gone on for weeks. It’s taken me that long to move from rant to Peace-blog — which is the purpose of my writing. What started the rant? The overuse of the word NO! in public and private discourse, often shouted. Ai, yai, yai! 

Oh, I could go on, but it’s exhausting. And you know what else it is? Immature. This is not, as they say, “adulting.” These are the very important expressions of toddlers. This is differentiating. Me. Me, Me, Me! This is a toddler learning boundaries: I’m me. This is mine. I can do this (myself)! As parent, caregiver, and friend, these phrases feel incredibly personal — and very frustrating, however, they are simply moments of discovering the edges of the toddler’s reach, a stage of exerting independence by testing: “No, I’m not going to bed.” “My toy!”

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