We tell our girls that if they don't like something, they should say so. We teach our boys to accept 'no' for an answer. We keep repeating this in order to avoid them to be subjected to unwanted situations, to coercion, ultimately to rape.
But do we say the same through our actions?
How corrumpable are our parental no's?
How often do we let our children and our partners convince us out of a 'no'?
If your child wants to give you something, feed you something, you would rather not accept... Do you give in? If they insist, do you fold?
And let's turn the situation around. Do we - as parents - accept no for an answer? How often do we coerce our children into something WE want? How often do we sheme and manipulate to get the desired result?
Think about the little things, small frustrations, where we coerce just a little to get our way.
Getting them dressed or in the carseat, what means do you use? Having them take some medication.
As klong as we coerce our children nto doing what we want them too, coercion will be a part of our world. As long as we show our children through our action that insisting, manipulating and forcing works, they will continue this behavior.
No means no. Live by it.
Image: Informatique on Flickr