Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Our daughter hasn't been a big "no" kid as many toddlers can be at this age. We've been very selective about how we tell her 'no', specifically avoiding the word 'no' and 'nein' to help keep her from being obsessed with the word and the concept (being of the Mindful Parenting viewpoint, we do our best to tell her what we want her to DO, as opposed to what NOT to do--when she's on the verge of something super dangerous that we need her to stop doing right away, we say "Danger/Vorsicht!" and distract her from the action). So, instead of no's, we've been getting sweet little head shakes when she answers our questions in the negative. The other day, I did hear her call out a long "Noooooohhh" when she saw something in her chair that she was unhappy about--but otherwise, she hadn't used No or Nein in true context...

...until TONIGHT! I feel like I 'shouldn't' rejoice over something I've been trying so hard to avoid, but the details of the story have me smiling somethin' big.

As told to me by my in-laws: Kaya was showing her Tante Jules her rocking horse at their house tonight. It's one of those big horses on springs that rocks back and forth impressively...but instead of hard plastic like we had as kids, it's soft and plush and says a variety of things. Kaya has ridden it a few times and loved it,(as you see here!) but the last time I was there, she seemed a bit spooked, perhaps by the talking? Whatever it was, she clearly wasn't interested in riding the horse any more that night. So, tonight as I said, she was "showing" her Tante the horsie, when grandpa walks in the room and asks Kaya if she wants to ride the horse. "Nein," she declared, adamantly. He continued to explain to her that the horsie was lonely, and that it might really like her to ride it. "Nein, nein," she responded, this time shaking her head. She's got it down, it seems...I'm curious what this will mean for our car rides and bedtimes and lima beans in the future. But despite my 'curiosity', I'm beaming with excitement that "nein" came out instead of "no", and that she combined it with the head shake to make it clear that she knew exactly what she was saying!

Also, as much as I have my concerns for how Kaya's German in the next few years will challenge some of the moments that she has with her other care givers (particularly her grandparents and Tante who see her regularly and don't speak any German), I am finding a deep level of excitement at the fact that this phase has begun. Because what that signifies is HUGE for me--the bilingual experience is setting in to the point that it will begin to make a difference in her interactions with others!

Yeeehaw and Giddeee-up!


  1. The same day that Kaya said "nein" to riding her horsey, she and I were playing with some of her other toys when she threw one of them back into her toy basket. Deliberately avoiding "no" or "don't" I told her to "be easy, be gentle" and showed her how to set the toy back in the basket instead of throwing it. She, quite proudly, picked up another toy and mimiked me setting it in the basket with a huge grin.

  2. Yay! You rock, Julie. Clearly your efforts are making a difference...! Thanks SO much for being on board with us and our parenting style!


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