Why Saying ‘No’ Could Be The Best Decision Of Your Life And Your Child’s Life

“You’re not a good mother. You don’t spend enough time with your child. Look at how she responds to me,” Said a Special Educator to Pallavi, whose daughter is 17 and has multiple difficulties.

 

Pallavi was horrified. Her self esteem was shaken. She called a couple of trusted professionals who had supported her over the years. They both reassured her she was a fine, caring mother.
She took this torture treatment from the educator for a couple of months, before firmly standing up for her self and letting the teacher go.

 

You could be in a situation similar to Pallavi. You don’t like the way a situation is going, but you still continue with it.
You start doubting yourself. Your self esteem gets badly bruised, but you don’t know how to get out of the situation.

 

It’s time to face the situation squarely. Accept it’s harming you.
Like Pallavi, have the courage to say, ‘No. I will no longer accept this.’

 

I created a ‘no’ list for the families I work with. Today, I’d like to share it with you.

 

Be courageous and say ‘no’ in the following circumstances.

 

1. Say ‘no’ to more intervention

 

When you’re young and impressionable you don’t want to miss out on
anything. You’ve heard of FOMO right? (Fear of Missing Out)
So you try everything everybody suggests.

 

Well, it doesn’t work. I’ve been there and done that. It’s better to take a couple of effective interventions and therapies and stick to those rather than trying everything in sight.

 

Trying many things makes you feel like you’re doing a lot.
You could liken it to spot jogging. You could be exerting yourself, but actually you’re not covering distance.

 

Remember less is more.

 

2. Say ‘no’ to disrespect

 

By disrespect, I mean disrespect to you or your child.

 

If you are talked down to, that’s a clue for you to walk away. Don’t tolerate it. If somebody talks about your child in derogatory terms or doesn’t treat him/her well- please take action.

 

20 years ago, Mohit’s school Principal told me, “ I don’t know why we take students who we’re not equipped to take care of.”
She made it sound like she was doing us a favour by admitting Mohit to her school.

 

I felt small and demeaned.

 

I didn’t say anything then. I continued for one more with that school.
I still feel terrible about what I did.
If the principal’s attitude was such, how would the teachers and teacher’s assistants be treating my son?

 

Don’t make the same mistake as me. Learn to stand up for your child and your self.

 

Remember, you get what you tolerate.

 

3. Say ‘no’ to rigidity

 

Consider rigidity a red flag.
Beware of ‘it’s always been done this way.’
You as a parent, know your child the best. Yes, the professional has knowledge of the subject- but you have knowledge about your child.

 

There are wonderful professionals out there, who will provide expertise and consider what you have to say too.
Those are the professionals who you should surround yourself with.

 

Should what was valid 25 years ago, be equally valid today?
We’ve advanced in every field. We understand autism and our children a lot more. We’ve got to be flexible with how we teach our students.

 

When we look at the world of autism- we think of speech therapy, occupational therapy and special ed. Yes, they’re required. But they need to be modified according to the needs of the child.

 

The needs of the family also need to be taken into account.
Besides working on the child, the mental health of the family needs to be considered.

 

Also, how your child learns should be on top of the radar.
Case in point… One of my students finds it very difficult to express himself using words, but he’s amazing with typing and the visual medium. So we modify our techniques to suit him and help him learn faster.

 

4. Say ‘no’ to limiting beliefs.

 

Walk away from people who impose limiting beliefs on you or your child.

 

Just look at what happened to Sweta, Aahan’s mother.

 

When Aahan was diagnosed at age 5- the doctor informed her of her son’s prognosis. He said the child would be limited in doing certain things and would need support all his life.

 

Sweta stormed away from the doctor’s office saying, ‘don’t tell me what my child will or will not do.’

 

Today Aahan is at Symbiosis College. He’s independent, he travels all over Pune on his own, hangs out with his friends.

 

Don’t let people impose their limiting beliefs on you.
Use the rocks hurled at you as stepping stones.
Walk with your child into his glory.

 

Please do not be limited by people and their views.
Remember, your child is much bigger than that.

 

5. Say ‘no’ to over dependence

 

Break out of your self imposed shackles.
If something worked in the past, it’s not necessary for it to continue forever.

 

Learn to be reliant on yourself.
Build a relationship with your child – so you’re never dependent on anybody to work with your child or tell you what you do.

 

By all means, seek guidance and apply it- but don’t be over dependent on anybody in life.

 

You know what? You have it in you. You just need to tap into your own power.

 

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When you say ‘no’ to the wrong things, you open up space for many more good things in your life. You feel good about yourself. If you feel good, so will your child.
Do you realize your child understands everything whether he expresses it or not?

 

He feels your love and support. What a joy to have your parents support you when the rest of the world misunderstands or misjudges you?

 

Be the mother who stands up for her child.
Say ‘no’ to open up beautiful vistas in your child’s life.

 

By doing so, your life will become beautiful and expansive.

19 COMMENTS

  • Usha says:

    U make the parents feel positive u r great hats off to u

  • B sriram says:

    No can become yes if we show patience and affection.
    My daughter wrutes legibly in mither tongue Tamil but when she was at special school , a trainee teacger told us that she was unable to hold a oebcil and possibly woukd not write! Came another teacher who was strict but made children perform- beautiful handwriting emerged.so advice for parents woukd be never despair – Autism Spectrum is like a train journey; we teavel with many but on rails. We have different categorues sleeoer, 3rd AC, 2nd AC , 1ST AC, unreserved, advance booking or tatkal everything is there and how early we take up the xause devotedly is tge fulcrum.
    Para 5 about dependence is a lesson by itself.
    I always say in my presentations- help ASDs communicate in any form Visual, Speech, writing, art whatever and their block gets eased. Life is hope and hope is life!

  • Rucha Gujrathi says:

    Hello Kaminiji,
    Can relate to all the points…from FOMO, schools horrible attitude towards our kids, to being self dependent.
    Your articles have help me grow in many ways.

    Thanku.

  • B sriram says:

    reposted- No can become yes if we show patience and affection.
    My daughter writes legibly in mother tongue Tamil but when she was at special school , a trainee teacher told us that she was unable to hold a pebcil and possibly would not write! Came another teacher who was strict but made children perform- beautiful handwriting emerged.so advice for parents would be ‘never despair’ – Autism Spectrum is like a train journey; we travel with many but on rails. We have different categories sleeper, 3rd AC, 2nd AC , 1ST AC, unreserved, advance booking or tatkal everything is there and how early we take up the cause devotedly is the crux of the matter
    Para 5 about dependence is a lesson by itself.
    I always say in my presentations- help ASDs communicate in any form Visual, Speech, writing, art whatever and their block gets eased. Life is hope and hope is life!
    REPLY

  • Sweta says:

    Thank you for reaffirming the power of NO,
    this one NO opened infinite doors for Aahan
    As always u r our inspiration
    God bless

  • Minakshi Singh says:

    Few months back I was in the same situation.. I was so depressed. Being a single parent I feel helpless some times but after reading this article I feel much better and positive… Great.. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  • Sonali says:

    Very useful article. Will be definitely sharing this with my parents.

    Thank you!

  • Shilpa says:

    Great article. Thanks a lot. Totally agree.

  • Thanks for dropping by, Shilpa.

  • Chitra says:

    Hi Kamini, always love the way you weave strong points into words in such a simple but forceful manner. Absolutely agree with you that No can be changed into a Yes if you believe in your child, support them and help them blossom. Your posts always focus on empowering parents which is something I believe in very strongly myself. Will be sharing this in my parent group.

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