Yesterday I shared this photo with you as part of our ongoing Photo a Day Project on Instagram. Children don’t need non-stop preposterous yes, yes, yes, for a full day. Children need a lifetime of small “yes moments.”
Below are 5 Tips for Saying “Yes”:
- Keep an open schedule. If you are constantly rushed from one thing to the next there is no time to say “yes.” Leave gaps in your schedule for uncharted adventure.
- Pause before saying “No.” This week the girls and I found a sandy nook on the river. When they asked “Can we get wet?” my immediate thought was, “No.” Train yourself to pause before blurting out “No.”
- Ask yourself the following questions before responding to your child’s request:
Will saying “yes” hurt or bother anyone?
Can the child learn anything from the situation?
Does it really (really) matter one way or another?
- Give them the responsibility of their choice. In the photo above it was a windy 70 degree day and we were a good 20 minute hike from the car. My response? “You’re welcome to play in the water as long as there are no problems walking back to the car.” We then proceeded to enjoy 45 minutes of unplanned relaxation. The girls created a little town with twigs and sticks while I sat on the shore and read my book. Their giggles were priceless.
- Reward good behavior with more “Yeses.” The entire walk back to the car I didn’t hear an “I’m cold” whine or a peep of complaint from either girl. Will I be more likely to say “yes” next time they ask to take a quick dip? YES.
Homework: Take a mental note of how often you immediately respond “No.” Practice pausing.
WARNING: Saying “yes” may make you feel physically uncomfortable. Go for it anyhow!
Would you share some of your “yes” stories with us? Saying “yes” doesn’t come naturally for me. I’d love to hear additional examples.