A parent sent me this quote a while back, and I just rediscovered it. I love it because it brings the joy to the child's discovery of the power of their words, and describes why I get so excited when a child can tell me 'no' finally.
"To hold the world no in my mouth like a gold coin, something valued, something possible. To teach the no to our daughters (sons). To value their no more than their compliant yes. To celebrate no. To grasp the word no in your fist and refuse to give it up. To support the boy who says no to violence, the girl who will not be violated, the woman who says no, no, I will not. To love the no, to cherish the no which is so often our first word. No - the means to transformation." - Louise Erdrich, The Blue Jay's Dance