I’ll never punish my daughter for saying no.
The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.
1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.
The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.
3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.
The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.
4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even as a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.
The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.
6. She is entitled to her expression.
When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.
7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.
I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted."
|1. Post a picture of you?|
|2. Would you date an 18-year-old at the age you are now?|
|3. Do you prefer to be friends with girls or boys?|
|4. Would you ever smile at a stranger?|
|5. Can you commit to one person?|
|6. How do you look right now?|
|7. What exactly are you wearing right now?|
|8. How often do you listen to music?|
|9. Do you wear jeans or sweats more?|
|10. Do you think your life will change dramatically before 2014?|
|11. Are you a social or an antisocial person?|
|12. If the person you like says they like someone else, what would you say?|
|13. Are you good at hiding your feelings?|
|14. Can you drive a stick shift?|
|15. Do you care if people talk badly about you?|
|16. Are you going out of town soon?|
|17. When was the last time you cried?|
|18. Have you ever liked someone you didn’t expect to?|
|19. If you could change your eye color, would you?|
|20. Name something you have to do tomorrow?|
|21. Name something you dislike about the day you’re having.|
|22. Have you ever liked one of your best friends of the opposite sex?|
|23. Are you nice to everyone?|
|24. What are you sitting on right now?|
|25. Do you think you can last in a relationship for 6 months and not cheat?|
|26. Have you ever wanted someone you couldn’t have?|
|27. Who was the last person you talked to before you went to bed last night?|
|28. Do you get a lot of colds?|
|29. Have your pants ever fallen down in public?|
|30. Does anyone hate you?|
|31. Do you have someone of the opposite sex you can tell everything to?|
|32. Do you like watching scary movies?|
|33. Are you a jealous person?|
|34. If you had to delete one year of your life completely, which would it be?|
|35. Did you have a dream last night?|
|36. Is there anyone you can tell EVERYTHING to?|
|37. Do you think you’ll be married in 5 years?|
|38. Do you think someone has feelings for you?|
|39. Do you think someone is thinking about you right now?|
|40. Did you have a good day yesterday?|
|41. Think back 2 months ago; were you in a relationship?|
|42. Is your life anything like it was two years ago?|
|43. If the person you wish to be with were with you, what would you be doing right now?|
|44. What’s the best part about school?|
|45. Do you have any pictures on your Facebook?|
|46. Do you ever pass notes to your friends in school?|
|47. Do you replay things that have happened in your head?|
|48. Were you single over the last summer?|
|49. What are you supposed to be doing right now?|
|50. Don’t tell me lies, is the last person you texted attractive?|