Noah's favorite word is “no”. It’s no coincidence: the first two letters in his name are N-O. He's also a two-and-a-half year-old hellion that society has labeled a toddler. Noah's mother, Dorothy has her own feelings about the toddler's new favourite word.
“I was about to throw my child into a raging river without a life jacket. I'm talking class 4 rapids. Everything was ‘No!’ My patience had expired along with my emergency medical marijuana stash,” Dorothy explained.
But that all changed when Dorothy's friend, Rachel—a child-free bartender and freelance musician—advised that she enjoy this part.
“Noah was running Dee ragged. I could see how desperate she was for this phase to end, so I tried to comfort her. It was the least I could do, given my expertise. I reminded Dorothy that she should just enjoy it, because one day, she'll miss it,” Rachel said.
Dorothy took Rachel's advice to heart and decided to enjoy the ride. She allowed Noah to reign over his kingdom, shout ‘No!’ repeatedly with his outside voice and do whatever the fuck he wanted to do.
Lo and behold, Rachel was right. Her unsolicited advice had solved everything.
Dr. Patrick Williamsburg is a child psychologist who runs a private practice in the area. He agrees with this approach.
“It's never been more critical to raise an entitled kid. This is the way of the future—generations of spoiled, aggressive humans that don’t give a fuck, who won't take no for an answer and who love giving no as an answer,” Williamsburg said.
With the recent “zero fucks given” ("ZFG") and “don't give a fuck” (“DGAF”) movements on the rise, it makes sense to apply them to commonly held parenting praxises.
“I've always adopted a DGAF attitude with my life, but I never thought I could put it into practice as a parent. At the end of the day, it's just not worth the power struggles with your kid. You know, they need to figure out for themselves that rickets is a real thing when they don't eat properly,” Dorothy said.
The notion that children respond well to boundaries is simply false. And studies reflect this. The more a child can explore on their own terms, the more independence that child gains. And the more the parents can sit back, relax, and take comfort in knowing that their child won't ever have to take no for an answer, and will get everything they want.
Thanks to Rachel's unsolicited advice, Dorothy's son will grow up with a very strong head on his shoulders.
And likely a problem respecting consent and sexual boundaries.
But for now, Dorothy and parents everywhere will no longer have to miss the dreaded “no” phase of their child's precious life.
IMAGE CREDIT: By Mindaugas Danys from Vilnius, Lithuania, Lithuania (scream and shout) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Moniquea Marion is a Toronto-based actor, comedian, and writer specializing in solo sketch and character comedy. She’s a graduate of the Second City Conservatory in Toronto, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre in NYC, and the People's Improv Theatre in NYC. Marion is a twice nominated contender for Best Female Improviser by NOW Magazine in 2014 & 2015. Marion's responsible for writing, producing, and starring in 8 one woman comedy shows over the past 3 years, one of which spawned, Mumsical, a successful one woman musical comedy about moms which debuted at the 2015 Toronto Fringe Festival. Marion recently underwent and successfully accomplished a rigorous web series where she released a new character video for every day of 2016! That's right she wrote, starred, produced, filmed, and edited 365 character videos in 365 days.
Marion's been an advocate for women in comedy by creating safe and supportive comedy spaces such as the all female comedy show, "Laugh Through This", the all female improv drop in, "Fierce", and the "Ladies Jam" a ladies only improv jam. Marion also teaches improv through the Social Capital Theatre in Toronto, various high schools, mental health agencies, and private companies.