The Power Of No


I have yet to meet a parent who in some way is not worried about how the technologies are using their children. Why then are we so afraid to say no? Why is it so difficult to set appropriate and protective limits? Some of this inability on our part can be understood by examining the brainwashing that we live with on a daily basis. “Brainwashing” is a very, very strong word to use here, and yet if we look closely at how the technologies are taking our children away from us and away from themselves, that word becomes an accurate descriptor of the way our brains are being washed clean of the truth. For something to be so powerful as to keep parents from acting on behalf of their own children says everything about what we are up against.

Daily, we receive the message that doing it all, wanting it all and having access to it all are the hallmarks of what makes us valuable, important and lovable. Worse yet, we have been conditioned to believe that it is our own idea to want it all, when in fact this belief is being sold to us daily through various media outlets. And so, we drive ourselves relentlessly with the technologies exacerbating and accelerating our wantings. We have passed this on to our children, and in so doing we have bypassed the importance of “No.” We have forgotten that to say no is to say yes. We have forgotten that to protect something precious we must learn to say no, a lot. We have forgotten that “no” creates the container out of which “yes” is born.

One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves and for our children, is to get very, very good at saying “No.” And while this flies in the face of the cultural message that “we can have it all”, it is the very thing we need to do to insure our children stay human. We can refuse to have this conversation, but the truth is, it will go on with or without us. And what we refuse to address will be become our children’s burden to bear..