So I am about to write about something that may make people upset. But I don’t really care. I’m already upset because I have to listen to people say this same phrase over and over again to their devil children without a satisfactory response. (Not all children are spawned from the devil, but there are definitely some suspect specimens out there.)
Where the hell did the “no thank you” method of parenting come from?
What happened to just plain “no”?
No worked on me. No worked for all my brothers. No worked for every kid I babysat. No still works when I say it to my littlest nephew and niece. They aren’t offended when I say it, and they do not hold a grudge when I say. They really don’t seem to care.
So what is with the “no thank you”?
My husband hypothesizes that it comes from the new found need to make sure everyone is happy and that we are all PC. We shouldn’t upset the youth. They are people, too, and their feelings should be considered. This, of course, is just a hypothesis. My husband says no, too.
If we stick with no thank you instead of no, what happens to boundaries? Boundaries are in place for a reason. They keep an ordered society. They keep people in line.
But most importantly, they foster imagination.
When you are told no, what do you think? What is so much better on that side of the fence that I can’t have it? What kind of images pop into your mind and feed your wildest dreams?
If you’re told no thank you, is that forbidden quite so enticing? Not so much.
So what is so wrong with no?
What will happen to our story tellers who were told no thank you? Will their stories lose their edge? Will they back down from the forbidden with shaking knees? Will they not care that there is something out there that they shouldn’t have?
My philosophy goes like this. Let them drive the lawn mower through the alfalfa field. When the neighbor whose field it is comes to yell at them, they’ll wonder if she is a witch or even human. For years, they will fear her and wonder what she is up to in that little house of hers. Let them drink the water downstream from a cow pasture. When they realize at sixteen that they shouldn’t have drank that water, they will wonder what will happen to them as they get older. And then they’ll start conversing with Stephen King, and we’ll have loads more good stories to read. Tell them no when they want to jump off the roof to see if they can fly. Because then they’ll always wonder what could have happened if they had been given the chance.
No thank you, you say?
I say no to that.