No, Uh-uh, Oooh Noooo, NO, No Way
"No, uh-uh, Oooh Noooo, NO, No Way." A random sampling of what I hear everyday as a parent. As anyone who's been around a two year old can probably attest, "No" is the preferred response to just about any thing out there.
For Jenn and I, even under the daily barrage of no, sometimes the sheer dramatics involved in saying no are comical. The default mode for the terrible twos is no.
Now a lot of folks do everything they can to avoid children. Most parents parents love their kids. A lot of potential parents want nothing more out of life than to have their own children. Dealing with other people's kids. Forget about it. No way.
There's a couple of easy reasons why we should pay far more attention to children than we often do. One, to make sure they don't rob us in ten years. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so you can't be too careful. Two, watching children can give us an amazing insight to how adults behave.
No is the default answer for almost everything we do. Don't believe me? For one day try to track the amount of times you say no to something you see or are told no to something. It is our main mode of operation. Can't do it. Not possible. Costs too much. That's inconceivable.
Now in baseball, hitters are taught from an early age not to do this. As the pitch comes in, there isn't time to think about whether to swing or not. You can't stand in the box, watch the pitch come in and think "should I swing at this" and then still hit it. The default mode is Yes. Yes, yes-yes-swing. Or yes-yes-yes don't-swing-ball. One decision is all there is time for. If you try to go the other way, "no-no-no-yes-swing" it doesn't work. You'll miss most of the good pitches to hit.
Sometimes no means yes. We get so used to saying no that we miss out on things we actually want. Tony Jr. does this all the time. "Do you want an apple," Jenn or I will ask?
"No way mommy-daddy," he'll respond. A couple of minutes later, "Mommy-daddy, apple please." He realizes he actually wants the apple. He's just so used to saying no it's a reflex.
We do this all the time, but as we get older we don't have the ability to just change our minds and get what we want, or hit the pitch, or get that job.
What could happen if we were to change our default mode?