Generally, I love *all* of Rosenthal's work, but the concept of a "yes day," left me feeling unsettled.
I was scrolling through photos on my phone when I came across this set of pictures of my girls playing in the lake with their clothes on.
It helped me realize that...
Children don't need non-stop preposterous yes, yes, yes, for a full day. Children need a lifetime of small "yes moments."
5 Tips For a Lifetime of Yes Moments
Below are helpful tips for practicing saying yes:
1. 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.
2. Pause pausing 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 way." Train yourself to pause before blurting out no.
3. Ask yourself these three questions before responding to any requests.
- Will saying yes hurt or bother anyone?
- Can the child learn anything from the situation?
- Does it really (really) matter one way or another?
4. Give your kids 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 forty-five 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.
5. 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.
Take a mental note of how often you immediately respond with a no. Practice pausing and saying, "YES." Saying yes may make you feel physically uncomfortable. Go for it anyhow.
When you offer your kids a lifetime of choice and yes moments, they don't need an over-the-top yes day.
P.S. Below is an example of a "yes moment" from a recent trip to Texas.