So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

Right now, “no” is her favorite word. Isn’t it every toddler’s favorite word? We chuckle when they say no all the time, we get frustrated because they might not always mean it when they say it, and we have to encourage or them into doing certain things, not because they don’t want to, but because they like the activity or the food once they take the moment to try it. However, isn’t there something to be encouraged when it comes to the word no?

RELATED: Dear Daughter, Do Not Be Perfect

I want it to be her favorite word right now. Why? Because she is learning how to stand up for herself, stand against what she does not want or is not comfortable with, and to be confident in standing her ground. I don’t want to shut that word down when she says it. I want to understand why she is saying no, what is she feeling when she says it. She isn’t always able to vocalize those feelings, but we mommas know our babies, right? We can feel their feelings, we can read their behaviors and actions, and that is how we learn the reason behind their adamant no.

One day, that “no” is going to matter.

I pray it is not in a moment of danger, but when she sees someone being mistreated, when she sees injustice, when she is being asked to do something against her beliefsI want her to be confident and comfortable in saying that two-letter word. I want her to say it with a tone of power and sternness. I want her to say it so confidently that people hesitate to question her. I want people to know when she says something, especially the word no, she means it and she is to be respected for it.

So when I ask her a question and no is her reply, I respect that answer and tell her she is entitled to that feeling and answer. Sometimes when I might not understand her no, I take the time to figure out why she answered that way or what she is hesitant about that would make her give that answer. Regardless of the why, I respect her answer even if she is only two years old.

RELATED: Dear Strong-Willed Daughter, You’re Shaping Me

Seeing that her parents respect her when she tells us that two-letter word, gives her more confidence in saying it in the future instead of saying yes when she isn’t comfortable, or shyly complying, or pretending to be willing when she doesn’t feel right about the situation.

She deserves that opportunity and respect because that is what will empower her to take a stand as she matures and grows.

Isn’t that what all of us mommas want, to raise an independent, strong, and empowered woman? I know I do. I want my daughter to believe in herself and to believe in others enough so she can be their voice if they don’t feel like they have their own. I want her to feel empowered by her emotions, to know it is OK to feel such feelings that urge her to say no. I don’t want her to ever feel like those emotions need to be stifled.

And that all starts in these toddler years when “no” is her favorite word. 

Meghan Moyer

My name is Meghan. I am a stay-at-home momma of two, an LEO wife, and a farm to table enthusiast. I love spending time with my family, I hold steady in my faith, and I enjoy gathering around a table with friends and family over a home-cooked meal.

Behind Every Strong-Willed Child is a Vulnerable Soul

In: Kids
Little girl with bubbles

My little girl—she has a firecracker personality. As an infant, she was a big kid trapped in a baby’s body who refused to conform to baby expectations. She defiantly resisted baby norms of sitting calmly in a stroller, or bouncing and cooing gently on my lap at a restaurant, or quietly playing with a baby toy. No, this child has always wanted to be free from straps and confines and rules. She wanted to be free from the standards of the other babies sitting happily in a shopping cart at the grocery store and instead demanded to be carried on...

Keep Reading

You Can’t Tame A Butterfly

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little girl twirling in sun

“Momma, can we keep a butterfly as a pet?” My 7-year-old’s eyes were sparkling, already envisioning having a butterfly of her very own. “You can’t tame a butterfly,” I told her. “They aren’t meant to be in a cage.” While she must have known this answer was inevitable, it didn’t mean she had to like it. Brow furrowed, she gave me a parting look of disappointment before running back outside. As I watched her playing in the backyard, already absorbed in a new game, I stopped and thought about what I had said. This particular child is a butterfly in...

Keep Reading

Dear Daughters, Go Be the Good

In: Kids
Three young teen girls smiling and laughing

Dear daughters, Can you hear the reckoning? It’s time. It’s time to become a generation of warriors. Don’t let the high school lunchroom label follow you into adulthood because nice girl, mean girl, sleep-around-girl are baseless and unimportant and you are going to shake the world—bring it to its knees, and I’m really [not] sorry here, but— You just don’t have time for it. Be good. And not like be good and mind your curfew and cross your legs and laugh in all the right places. I mean be THE good. Hold hands with the lonely. Walk with the lost....

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.