the word no

I’ll never forget the mom who wanted me to baby proof the healing room for her child. When she kept him in his portable carseat, there was no problem. She would set it in the middle of the healing room floor, and I would work on him. He was mesmerized by the colorful patterns of light in the air, as I cleared his energy.  When he learned to crawl, she spread a blanket on the carpet for him so that he could play during his healing. Even though he had plenty of toys to entertain him, of course, he crawled straight to one of the electrical outlets across the room. As we all know, babies and toddlers love to stick wet fingers, toys, keys, and utensils into those things!  To keep him safe, the mom did the most peculiar thing. She got between him and the outlet, held up a toy, and exclaimed, “Look! Looky here!” She rattled the toy in his face as he tried to crawl around her to get to the outlet. She made car and plane sounds, and repeated, “Look! Looky here!” As I watched him ignore her, I asked her why she didn’t just tell him, “No.” She explained to me that she did not believe in saying “No” to her child.  I continued to watch in amusement, as the mom wasted precious energy trying to distract him from danger. He ignored her attempts to stop him. Already, at such a young age, he had no respect for her. He wanted what he wanted, and her voice and antics were just like games to him. He just kept trying to push, climb, and crawl around her to that power outlet.  Even though, her method was clearly not working, she refused to say “No” to her child. Instead, she looked at me in exasperation and asked, “Can you get some childproof covers for these sockets for next time?” Oh, so now it was up to me to make sure the world was perfectly safe so she never had to tell her undisciplined child, “No.”  Apparently, studies show that the word, “No” is overused by parents, so some parents subscribe to a fad where they never use the word at all. But, the reason some parents say “No” a million times a day is because they have trained their kids not to listen. It’s not the actual word that is the issue. If parents have to repeat the word, “No,” all day long, they’re kids have tuned them out—which is the very thing this mom had already taught her son, even without ever saying the word, “No.”   The key to energetic parenting is to conserve your energy with fewer words and more action. I do believe in saying “No” to your child, but I only believe in saying it once in each challenging parental situation. If the kid ignores you, you can move into calm, swift action, so they begin to take you seriously. Silent, calm action is how you get your child to hear you when you say that one small word, “No,” or whatever you decide to replace it with. Let’s rewrite that scenario with the baby with the electrical outlet obsession. I often rewrite scenes, or pretend that things went a different way because this gets rid of skewed energetic patterns and brings in a new fresh energy to make sure I don’t run into the same strange situation again in my life. I also like to pretend that things happened differently than they did, so that I don’t cringe every time I think of that person. In my imagination, this is what really went down: When the baby crawled straight to the electrical outlets, the mother  tapped his hand away, and said, “No! Don’t touch.” She made eye contact with him to let him know how serious she was. Her voice had a hushed element of danger to it, to let him know that this is dangerous—kind of like when I am walking across solid ice with my dog. To make sure he doesn’t pull me down, I say, “Ice! Ice!” When he hears that word in that hushed, urgent tone, he slows his pace, and glances at me. Many times, I’ve slipped on our dog walks, and he braces himself as the leash tightens between us, steadying me.  In my rewrite of the mom and son, let’s say that he ignored his mom’s danger tone, and tried again, to explore electricity. Instead of repeating herself, she picked him up, turned his body away from the receptacle, and plunked a toy in front of him.  Let’s say he was so curious, that he tried a third time. In my rewrite, she scooped him up and buckled him into his carseat, in the middle of the room, without a word. She had tried giving him more freedom, but that plan didn’t work, so back to the basics.  In my rewrite, he kicked his feet, wailed crying, and disturbed all of the offices in the vicinity. His mom just sat there, pleasantly smiling at the healer, and taking deep breaths in through her nose. She even closed her eyes and meditated. She did not console him, or lecture him. She did not apologize for her son’s behavior, but just let him release his emotions.  Energetically, this is so good for him to get his frustration out, anyway. One way to clear our energy is to have a good cry.    When the session was over, the mom, rested from sitting with her eyes closed, picked up his carseat, walked to the car with her wailing child, strapped him in, and drove him home as if nothing had happened. She played her favorite music in the car and sang at the top of her lungs, to release her stress. She kept her energy above and beyond her son’s demands. He fell asleep in the car, or he cried the whole way home. Either way, her behavior stayed the same. She hummed and sang and ignored his outrage.   When she got home, and said hello to her husband, she did not tell him what happened. The reason for this, is because when you tell a story of how bad your kid was right in front of them, their energy bubble shrinks and pulls in, as they absorb the energy and belief that they are a bad person. Privately, you can complain about these moments, but never in front of your kid. You can even have a good laugh about it. But, don’t laugh in front of them, or you will confuse your child—they won’t know if what they did is something you approve of or not.  To take the attention off of her son’s disastrous afternoon, the mom pretended it never happened and moved straight into meeting her own needs. She asked her husband to take care of their son for 15 minutes while she took a timeout. She grabbed a healthy snack and water from the kitchen, then retreated to the bedroom, where she closed her eyes and listened to relaxing music with the sounds of water in the background. She ate the snack, sipped on the water, and swayed and rolled her shoulders to release the tension from the stressful ordeal. She asked the Divine Light to pour down through her and over her. Within 15 minutes of praying and  visualization, she felt rejuvenated. She took a deep breath, stood up and went back into the living area to continue parenting.  She, then, looked at all that needed done, and divided it into two. With a positive team-like attitude, she asked her husband if he wanted to make dinner, or change the baby’s diaper and watch him while she made dinner. Because she felt balanced and restored from her time alone, she was able to think clearly and plan efficiently, instead of just plowing through the chores by herself until she dropped.  To enjoy parenthood, this is how it has to be. You have to constantly repair yourself in little bits of time or you will get depleted. If you are parenting your kids alone, like I did, just plunk them in their high chair with a snack and meditate beside them before you keep going. The demands on you, as a parent, will never go away, so you have to be selfish, and take moments, right in the middle of the chaos, to stop the world and replenish your energy.  The mom in my rewrite, may have to repeat the whole electrical scenario again, but each time will be a little easier. In no time, the mom in my rewrite would be able to take her kid to his energy healing with no problem—in or out of his carseat. She would feel at ease, knowing that he would not fight her every step of the way. She would feel proud of the harmony her clear, clean parenting created. The healer would comment on how good he was being. The mom would feel like trips to the healer were wonderful, once again.  To get to this kind of graceful parenting, you have to be on your toes, ready to take action in a moment’s notice. Whatever word or look you use to get your point across, the key is to gain your child’s respect by disciplining with swift action. This way, your kid begins to hear your every word. Soon, you will rarely ever have to show them what you mean. They’ll hear you the first time. Your simple “No,” or giving them that look that says, “No,” is all you will have to do. Other parents will wonder how you got your kid to listen so well. They will wonder how you seem to be so elegant and calm in your parenting. You can smile and know that it’s because you taught your kid that when Mama says “No,” she actually means “No.”