It’s Friday afternoon. We’re all exhausted from a long week.
Our favorite weekly ritual — pizza and a movie — is scheduled for that evening.
Typically, that means no TV time.
“Can we watch TV today, please?” my daughters sing out in perfect unison, holding hands like the perfect little angels they are pretending to be.
In my head I’m thinking, “Gosh, that’s way too much TV. Shouldn’t they be playing or going outside? And what kind of an example is this going to set. Soon they will want to always watch TV after school or before movie night.”
But, the truth was that I was tired.
And they work really hard all week, when we maintain a no-TV on school nights household.
“Yes, you can watch TV,” I said.
Their faces beamed with happiness — and a bit of shock.
How often do you say that in a day?
How about N-O?
A little more?
Like most parents, I struggle with giving in too much as if this one little yes is suddenly going to open Pandora’s box and set the gimmes free.
But, in the end, saying YES isn’t always about THEM.
It’s about me.
I enjoy being a Yes Mom.
Being a Yes Mom makes my day brighter and a little easier because my children are happy and our day is more peaceful, which makes me a better mom.
I feel less conflicted or tormented when I say yes than when I say no, especially to things that really aren’t a big deal.
Nos are absolutely a part of raising children and parenting. And they are important for a child to hear – so they understand that life isn’t always fair and they don’t grow up thinking they can – or should — always get what they want in life.
Nos are essential. And I say them a ton.
But, we all know that when No is overused it loses its power and becomes ineffective.
In fact, some days I feel like all I’m saying is NO so now and then I have to remind myself of the amazingly good things saying YES does for my family.
Here are 8 Reasons to Say Yes Today:
Each yes gives a confidence boost to a child. It truly helps them believe that their ideas are worthy. On the other hand, if all they hear is no, no, no … they internalize the negative. Plus, it helps your confidence as a parent, too. There is no better feeling than consciously and intentionally saying YES — the kind you thought through and know it’s the right choice for today, for this moment.
Childhood is Sacred
When we’re little there is so much possibility, so much magic to believe in — all of which disappears when we grow up. Saying yes is about keeping that childhood magic alive. Saying yes allows a child to enjoy a slow childhood — rather than being rushed along and forced to be a grown up way too soon.
Grow their Trust
By giving children the chance to make their own decisions, they will grow up feeling confident and secure. By saying yes to something they believe is important to them, we are granting them the most essential ingredient in life – trust. We trust they know what they need or want. We trust that sometimes they really do know themselves better than we do.
Saying Yes is Awesome
As adults, we talk ourselves out of so much goodness. We tell ourselves no all the time. But when we finally give in to our own wants and dreams, and say yes, it feels good. This is awake living. We owe this kind of living to our children, too.
Yes teaches Risk
There is nothing wrong with going after what you want in life. But if all we ever hear is no, no, no we’re going to be less likely to try new things. Saying yes is liberating. Why wouldn’t we want to encourage our children to embrace a life of YES? Sure, they make a mistake. That’s OK.
Meet their Needs
We all have needs. We all have desires. And we’re all trying to get those needs satisfied. Children are no different. In fact, they have more needs and are less able to describe those needs to us. Look beyond your child’s request and you will find the unmet need.
Often, yes can be accompanied by a thoughtful conversation on making powerful decisions for ourselves and our children. By being open to saying yes, you are granting your children the ability to discover what’s best for them. This is independence at its best.
When we can reduce resistance in our relationships, healing happens. Peace happens. By saying yes we’re also saying yes to being in this moment. Saying yes can be a more peaceful way to live, creating a happier, healthier home in the long run.
For five questions to ask yourself before you say NO, check out my book “The Playful Family.”
DISCUSS: What have you said YES to recently?