The word no is a frustrating word for anyone to hear. No one really likes to hear it. John and I had talked about how when we had kids, we were going to strive to not use the word no. I'll explain in a minute. Now, since having Levi we have added to that list phrases that associate a negative meaning or outcome. Those are things like "if you don't stop eating candy, you will end up sick," or "if you don't shape up your life, you are going to go to jail!" Things like that. Your mind can't help but think of the negative outcome and that starts to become the reality that your mind creates. So, we are trying not to use those phrases with Levi as well.
And instead of just telling Levi "don't play with that!" we are trying to tell him something like "Levi, that isn't yours, you need to play with something else like such and such." We are still letting him know he is not to touch or play with whatever he had, but in a way that isn't so negative and frustrating. And it is showing him that there are other, more productive and fun things he could be doing instead.
There are a few reasons for doing this. Kids are learning every day and we both fully believe that the better you train and guide children when they are young, the easier it is as the years go on. Something that is "cute" now, won't be so cute later on. So, I think it is important that Levi learns that there are plenty of things he cannot do, but instead of just being lazy and telling him to "stop" or "put that down" or "don't play with that" or "I said no!" we are trying to come up with a more positive and productive way to train his mind and the choices he makes.  There are a few reasons we choose not to use the word "no" as well. One of them was because of the reasons explained above with any negative phrase, especially ones with negative association. But another reason is that if it is used so often, it begins to have no "umph" to it. lol Does that make sense? If a child hears it over and over throughout the day, they begin to become immuned to it, especially if there is no follow through with anything else. Of course, this is with anything. No matter how you teach your child, whether using "no" or not, if there is no follow through or consequences, they will not learn. It is like that with us adults.
Of course, we are still in progress. I find myself using those phrases and having to rethink how to say what I am trying to communicate. Sometimes it isn't easy! I'll go to John sometimes and say here is what I am trying to say, but I can't think of a way that is more encouraging to say it, help! lol He is really good at rephrasing things for me.
I would have to say that this could apply to any relationship really, not just with children. Give it a try and see how it works. Of course Levi still knows the word "no" and will definitely tell it to you. We are now working on "yes" but I'm hoping what we are doing is making a difference. :) You can only pray for guidance and do what you believe God is calling you personally as a parent to do.