As I was driving this morning, I passed a food van parked by the side of the road. On its side was emblazoned its business name, ‘Not Another Pie Van’. I drove on, wondering what they sold (presumably not pies). How would their customers know? Were they relying on people stopping and checking whether they were actually a coffee van? Or a sandwich van? Surely it would make more sense to let folks know what they do sell, rather than mention the one thing that they don’t.
It got me thinking about how often we say ‘no’ to toddlers and how little guidance this actually provides. Toddlers are, after all, very new here. They see the world for its endless possibilities and have so much still to learn. When we tell children NOT to do something, we’ve simply ruled out one option while countless more remain. And many of the options they’re yet to try might be equally unsafe or inappropriate…
Perhaps you’ve seen this with your own young children, or with those with whom you work. You let a child know not to put the glue stick in their mouth…then they turn and start using it to ‘brush’ their friend’s hair.
That’s not to say that ‘no’ doesn’t have its place.
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