Written by my husband….
HOW TO SAY NO TO YOUR CHILD
A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO THE MOST VALUABLE AND UNDERUSED TOOL IN THE PARENTING ARESENAL
BY STEVE FRAASE
For best results read in its entirety.
take a normal breath and hold. don't worry, you won't be holding it long...place your tongue behind your front teeth. purse your lips into a little 'o' shape. in most people, your lips will actually be turned out in almost a kissing pucker. be sure to keep the opening wide enough for a proper 'o' size. you should be able to put your index finger in the 'o' you just made with your lips. this ensures the proper long 'o' sound for the correct execution of the word 'no'. next, begin to exhale. not all at once, but in an even, measured release. it should feel effortlessly. also, most people don't realize it, but a little air will be escaping through your nose as you begin the enunciation process, but don't worry, this is completely natural and you're doing it right. if there wasn't any air passing through your nose, you wouldn't so much be saying 'nnnnn', but more a 'duh', as though you're saying the letter 'd', similar to when you have a cold. keeping on, however, you must allow your vocal chords to vibrate, or, produce tone..with air moving past your vocal chords and through your sinus cavity, the resonance of your oral chamber produces a prolonged 'nnnnnn' sound.
keep the air flowing. keep your resonant tone buzzing. drop your lower jaw, but be careful to keep your lips in that nice 'o' shape described earlier. allow your tongue to fall between your bottom teeth. to your suprise, you'll think you've just said the word 'no'. now, gramatically, you have. however, literally, you haven't. not completely. you've got to finish it. i know your thinking, "Steve, there's only two letters in it, how can there be anything more to the word no?"
oh, exciting!! the air is electric with anticipation...
here's the answer: to complete the word, you actually need to bring your jaws together. go from an 'oh' sound (as in 'go') to an 'oo' sound (as in food). the effect is an aral mirage that makes a one-syllable word into a three-syllable word, but remains, you guessed it, a ONE-SYLLABLE WORD!!
example: nnnn-OH-oooo. repeat as often as is necessary. the more you say it, the easier it becomes.
exciting!! how incredibly complex this little two-letter word can be. i think we often forget the beauty of 'no', because we hear 'yes' far too often.
my dear reader, congratulations. if you've followed the instructions, you have successfully said the word 'no'. i know it may seem awkward at first, but with a little practice and effort, it will become a regular feature of your day to day vocabulary and one of the most effective tools in the parenting arsenal. remember, the effectiveness of the word 'no', especially as a parent, isn't knowing when to say it, it's knowing when NOT to say it. remember parents, if your kids are well-behaved, unspoiled, obedient, and appreciative of things they have, you're probably doing it right!!