A no is a no

My darling Pari,

These days the one word I find myself saying non-stop is NO. Even though my saying a no never bothers you, but still, I try my best to tell you that you need to stop your mischief right when I say so. I try modulating my tone to the nature of your actions. From “noooooooooo” to a crisp NO. The outcome being you too have learnt the art by nodding in all directions to convey the same instruction to me proving Newton’s third law.

I am aware that you know what a no actually means, but you take the benefit of your ΓΌber cuteness and age each time you disobey me. Granted. But, this is soon going to change sweetheart, for you’ve got a Hitler mom. I hope you are sufficiently scared and focused by now to read what follows with full attention.

While you are too young to comprehend why I keep stopping you from playing with electrical appliances, fingering the power sockets and putting in mouth everything you can get hold of (including soap, shoes, mop, bugs of all kinds, etc.), I promise you the privilege of using a NO once you grow up.

Even now, whenever you move your head from side to side or stop me with your hands while I am feeding you or even putting back your toys in place I try my best to abide by your instructions.

The very same I expect from you when you grow up. Listen to when I request you to stop. Though you shall always have the right to ask me the reason behind it. I shall always answer your queries to the best of my ability.

So that’s a done deal. I say ‘no’ and you obey, you say ‘no’ and I follow.

With that part sorted, let’s come to the most important agenda behind this ‘a no means a no letter’. This is something very important. I myself learnt this important lesson very late in my life to be able to refuse to accept ideas, instructions and opinions forced upon me against my will, against my liking. Sometimes I failed under the pressure of being an obedient child, at other times because I thought people around me had better understanding of whats good for me.

I do not deny the importance of following what our parents teach us and tell us, but after a certain age we need to learn to analyse our priorities, likes and dislikes and then go ahead and have an open talk about it before accepting anything you fail to understand the reason for. I do not intend on hinting that you need to be an autonomous soul who doesn’t bother what her mother or grandparents or friends tell her. Rather, have an open mind about everything. Stay open for suggestions and always ask questions.

But never fail to voice your concerns, fears and dislikes. You are a part of me and never feel scared of telling me anything, worrying that I might scold you or will refuse to hear your take. You might tell me something I never knew or never thought of, so always share your thoughts.

Never ever decline a good idea just because you don’t like the source. If you are angry with someone, don’t let your anger overpower your decisions. Allow yourself time to think, understand and then reach a verdict.

The more questions you’ll ask the clearer everything will get. Assumptions never take us to the right decision but open talk does. When the time comes that you need to follow your heart, stick by your NO. Don’t let anyone ever scare you in my name. I will never refuse to hear your take, your side of the story no-matter what may happen in life. I promise.

Never hesitate in refusing any offer just because you might hurt someone. Nothing scars our lives more than our own unhappiness. I am not asking you to be selfish, but don’t hurt yourself for the happiness of others. Let me share an example, if you are already full and can’t take another bite, go ahead and say it assertively rather than eating an extra plate of food only to please someone, to land up in agony with an upset tummy.

No, holds immense power but it comes with added responsibility. The responsibility to use it cautiously and to stick to your belief and opinion. Make sure your refusal is taken as is and not as a hidden yes. The duty to respect other people’s wishes and accepting their denial as their choice. Whenever you hear your inner voice stopping you, always pay heed to it.

I can feel myself gifting you a Brahmastra. AlwaysΒ remember, like all divine weapons use your refusal wisely and mean it else it shall lose it’s power.

For now, no more listening to Halkat Jawani (movie: Heroine) for I have gone mad watching it in a loop non-stop for 1.25 hours with you and this has been going on all day long, for a full week now.

With lots of love and blessings,


The song on my mind: Na na karte pyar ~ Dhadkan

62 thoughts on “A no is a no

  1. I think with children, a ‘no’ from those who are elders is greeted with curiosity and confusion as to ‘why should NOT do it’. But I guess, it’s all part and parcel of growing up – through these ups and downs, the little ones become big ones and fly the nest. So while, you have no option in saying anything else but a ‘NO’ you might as well enjoy it.


  2. Nice letter to Pari. We have had the same experience with our kids. What we learned was never to say NO out of anger or as a punishment. When Pari obeys your rule, complement her.


    1. I agree SG, compliments and due credits have a very important role in everyone’s life including children.
      Thank you for reminding this golden rule πŸ˜€


  3. how nice would it be if the kids understand that “a no means no” and follows it πŸ™‚ but that’s not how it works ME.. welcome to the next stage of mommyhood.. πŸ˜›


    1. I am well aware of that bit Ani, for whenever I ask Pari to stop she does everything but that πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜†
      This letter is meant to be read over a decade from today, so I can atleast hope that things would be a bit better by then πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€


  4. Such a beautiful brahmastra ME πŸ™‚

    I wish someone had told me all this when I was growing up… that I had the right to say NO and voice my concerns, likes and dislikes. It is overwhelming to see the way you write these lovely letters to Pari.. She is surely very lucky!

    And I am also learning so many things in parenting from you to be kept in mind for future when I have my own children ..

    Thanks a ton for such a beautiful thought, so simply put across ❀


    1. To be very honest PT I too wish someone had taught me this when I was growing up. But, it’s never too late to learn πŸ™‚
      I am lucky to have Pai in my life for it is her who has brought about the change in me πŸ˜€
      You are welcome dear…Hugs!


  5. Lovely thoughts ME…I soooo love ur letters to Pari, U jzz pour ur heart….this one I would want to show even Mishti someday…. πŸ™‚

    For u it is Halkat Jawani while in my household it is all Barfii songs…she is just mesmerized by Ranbir Kapoor it seems πŸ˜€


    1. The Barfi song with those vocal sounds (ankhon ankhon mein) is next on Pari’s hit list πŸ˜†
      Thank you N, please do share it with Mishti….being allowed to voice one’s opinion is indeed a big privilege πŸ˜€


  6. when did my Pari grow so naughty, can you pass one tight hug from me ? And his is such a powerful letter you have written to Pari, I hope she comes back and read all these advises you are writing from bottom of your heart. Good luck to you both.


    1. You are very right PB. It’s important to teach and talk about it right from childhood so that when the kids reach the age when they wish to be on their own they know what to do and how to steer through in life πŸ™‚
      Thank you dear


  7. Beautiful beautiful letter ME. This isnt a lesson only for Pari, I would want to come back to this post again when I am in need. For some of the decisions I took, for the refusals I made – I doubt myself sometimes if I was right. But then, your post gave me clarity. Thanks a bunch! πŸ™‚


  8. I think this is a lesson we always learn the hard way. Saying No does not come easily to us. And this is something children can never understand. πŸ™‚


    1. Absolutely.
      I too have learnt it the hard way and I am going to help my daughter understand all those things where I faced difficulties in my own life. You are right Amit, kids never pay heed to a NO so as parents we need to device alternative approaches to get things done our way πŸ˜‰


  9. Brillaintly written!

    Don’t let anyone ever scare you in my name. I will never refuse to hear your take, your side of the story no-matter what may happen in life. I promise.
    Hugs! This is so important, particularly for a girl child….

    Saying no is so important. Apart from no to others, it is also about saying no to oneself. Differentiating between what you WANT versus what you NEED. πŸ™‚


  10. ME I am your fan. This is the best advice you could give your daughter πŸ™‚
    A lot of do not know the power of NO. Like you and Mr. Spidey said “With Power comes responsibility” πŸ˜‰


  11. Dil On The Rocks

    Its not just for Pari. I could use that advise too. πŸ™‚ Was a good read. Cmon..don’t say no to the song..:) Come on over here Pari….you can watch it as much as you like.. I wont say no. πŸ˜€


    1. πŸ˜† πŸ˜† @ not saying no to the song πŸ˜†
      Let me share a secret, despite trying my best, I am still (forced to) listening it in a loop all day like before πŸ˜‰

      Tight hugs and lots of love from Pari to you for taking her side πŸ˜€


  12. thats a nice piece of advice dear.. very true..
    bunty has learnt this art of saying “NO” and uses it all the time :P.. for her its a new thing she has learnt with nodding head without understanding much abt it. πŸ™‚


    1. Aww… I can so understand what Bunty has been upto for Pari too keeps doing that all the time and she seems to enjoy playing the mommy to me πŸ˜‰
      Thank you AM


  13. What a beautiful and reassuring letter, ME! Pari is going to grow up to be a smart wise assertive woman for she has you for a mother πŸ™‚
    God bless you both!


  14. 😯 😯 Hitler mom 😯 😯
    Hai raam, the sufferings my angel has to go through πŸ˜₯

    From what I have seen with my 4 and 2 year old nieces is, if you say No, they are tempted to do it. Showing them how harmful it is to them, they understand. If they insist on playing with matchsticks, we show them how wrong it can go. What I do is to divert the attention completely. If they insist on watching the TV for more than half an hour, I take them out to play. The diversion technique helps in stopping the transformation of their respective moms into Hitlers πŸ˜†

    I loved the second part of the article. Saying No is even more powerful than saying Yes πŸ™‚

    Love you ME


    1. That’s a great tip Visha. I too believe in tell-show-do for that actually works well with young kids. Though Pari hasn’t reached that age of reasoning yet, but we’ll get there πŸ˜‰
      Don’t worry sweety, the Hitler mom has a very brave daughter who knows to keep the Hitler dancing to Halkat Jawani err…I mean her tunes πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰
      Love you too β™₯β™₯β™₯


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