April 04, 2012

The Power-less of Don't

A wise old parent administrator in my Mommy and Me class many moons ago once said,
"If you use DON'T as the first word of your sentence, your toddler will."
She was right.  And it didn't stop at toddler, goes for all age groups, heck even adults. I'm not joking, let's think this through a moment:

Don't touch sounds like go ahead, grab it, lick it, eat it, stick it up your nose, kid.

Don't run sounds like on your mark...get set....

Don't forget to clean your room sounds like toss everything in your room up in the air and find out if you can cover the surface of the room floor without seeing carpet or read a book instead.

Don't forget the milk sounds like whaa wha whaa whaa wha.

Don't forget to call me sounds like {never mind, not a good example, he heard you}.

Don't go there sounds like go there, I dare you.

So, you get my point.  We don't hear the DON'T at the beginning of the sentence.  Sort of like, "Mom".  No wait that's not a good example either, I heard them the first time.  You know you've been a situation where you've told someone, don't, and there they go.  All we can do is shake our heads and say, "I told her not to date him/drink that/eat that".  {That seriously happened to me, I really didn't hear the don't}.

What is it about us that makes us want to defy the warnings, test the boundaries?  Is it someone saying we can't do something and us feeling we need to prove otherwise?  Are we subconsciously saying, "that person doesn't know what they're talking about"?  Is it because we have over-inflated egos and just don't care?  Or my take on it is, we will never heed warnings because we feel untouchable until tragedy or bad times hit us.

What's your take on "Don't"?  Whatever you do, don't leave a comment;)

This post is brought to you by the letter "D":  A-Z Blogging Challenge 2012

27 comments:

  1. Sneaky, and I couldn't resist commenting. Excellent reverse psychology.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Maybe I'm crazy but don't sounds like don't to me. You mean to tell me if I told you don't date him you would hear "date him". Holy cow, I need to think of a better way of intervening. I'll comment on your blog if I think you don't hear me. I could see how it works with kids though.

    You're hot btw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're the only one that told me I'm pretty:) And maybe you're part of the 1%. Physical restraint might be necessary concerning intervention. I'll allow it.

      Delete
  3. Perhaps this is situational or relative?

    In my case, however, I agree. When someone tells me "don't", I think, "You're not the boss of me."

    You've sailed through to "E" now, baby!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whew, by the hair of my chiny chin chin....and I think you're on to something there girl. I don't back down from a challenge (obviously a-z).

      Delete
  4. My kid hears and DOES all those, don't is like the ringing bell at the beginning of a prize fight, and let me tell you chickies got some skills. She can uproot an entire laundry basket in less than three seconds, rendering almost every piece of previously clean clothing unwearable until being rewashed, she's got a gift. I try very hard not to say no, because it boils my blood when she says it to me, but I never really thought about "don't". Gave me something to think about. Love it, and seriously think mints are chocked full of crack AND girl scouts, irresistable straight to my butt chocolate goodness, mmmmmmmmmmmm (oops I drooled). :-P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl I ate all those cookies in the picture before the post was over. *Sigh* And really when you think about it logically and from the perspective of their little brains, they don't know what "don't" means, it's beyond their capacity at such a young age actually...but somehow, it never works anyway. Maybe I should look up some scientific gobblety-goo about this. Or, I could write my "E" post. Or, I could play on Twitter. You guess....

      Delete
  5. I wonder if reverse psychology will work? Hmmmm... :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Worked on you! BAM! I do that stuff to my kids all the time, I think I might have actually screwed them up significantly. :)

      Delete
  6. Great post and so true. Maybe it's a bit like telling someone "not to think about a pink elephant" and so that's instantly all you can think about. Look - here I am commenting, so it must be true!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I remember reading why this was so a while ago but have forgotten. But there must be something about these negative words because Dino (on of the Triberr founders) is writing a book called This Book is NOT for You...because, apparently, once people are told they can't have something they want it more!

    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (about #864 on A to Z list)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. It's why we all want our ex-boyfriend back when he starts dating a new girl. And genius does strike Dino every now and then.

      Delete
  8. This post reminds me of a picture book entitled "Don't Open This Book"...

    I guess we are all hard-wired to do what we are told not to do- regardless of age.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we don't think it through yes, so you're right, probably instinctual.

      Delete
  9. yes don't can be a challenge---interesting insight:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I concocted it in 5 minutes. Sad really.

      Delete
  10. I wasn't really with you right up until Don't go there... because that makes me push and pry harder every time!

    Also, I swear I read this after titling my D post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. And now I'm going to have to visit your blog...made me look, hmmm.

      Delete
  11. I have never really thought about it this way, but you're so right. My toddler is guilty of doing the exact opposite of any "don't" dished out from mom and dad. I'm going to have to work on this a bit. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't we all need to work on it though. But the psychology makes sense. Good luck, let me know if you have any break throughs.

      Delete
  12. I think it's because starting a sentence /request /order with a negative ("Don't") sets up the rest of the sentence for wah-wah-wah not listening. We respond better to positives ("Go ahead"). Not sure how to turn "Don't touch that" into a "Do"... hmm... maybe, "Be careful with that!" or "Watch out!" or "Put it down now!" <--- These are all statements of action *TO* take, rather than actions to avoid. I dunno, just my thoughts on the topic. Cuz I'm a professional armchair psychologist & all. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh me too, me too! A professional armchair psychologist. Those are some good examples up there though, bravo girl! *printing for future use*

      Delete

Let me know what you think by posting a comment or sending me an email, bubblegumonmyshoe@yahoo.com. I promise not to stalk you if you do!