It’s not that NO is a bad thing. Most of us grew up hearing Just Say No! But if you’re a child who is hearing it A LOT, then it gets old real fast. You start to tune it out after a while. Lord knows parents don’t want to be tuned out, so how can you become a YES Parent?
By asking you if you want to become a YES Parent, I’m not suggesting that you become a doormat and let your kids run over you. This isn’t about saying YES all the time. Children need healthy boundaries. This is just rethinking some of your NOs.
I am asking you to check yourself in 3 areas to see if you could lighten up a little or a lot depending on you. OR maybe reword things to keep the connection between parent and child.
Can you believe a 1-Year-Old hears NO on the average… 400 times a day??!!
Becoming a YES Parent is not always easy or convenient, but once you’re intentional about it and you see how your children respond, it’s well worth the effort.
Basically, it’s seeing the world and yourself through your child’s eyes. It’s realizing that the little things really become the big things. Let kids be kids in a world that wants them to be miniature adults with a maxed-out schedule. It’s not worrying about how big of a mess it will make or how much time it’s going to take or if it’s in the schedule. Saying YES can be inconvenient.
The Benefits of Being a YES Parent
- Strengthens the parent-child relationship
- Builds confidence in the child
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved Emotional Intelligence
- Builds Trust
- Helps them accept NO easier
Trust me on this one. You will see magical moments happen if you take my word on this. You will see your kids unreservedly play and live. My old NO self is still standing there with her mouth open and eyes wide at some of the things she’s heard me say YES to! It feels so right though.
3 Ways To Become a Yes Parent
1. Be Spontaneous:
I am a lover of routine and organization. In fact, just this week I found myself organizing some organized stuff. So to stray from the plans doesn’t come naturally for me. After years in the classroom, I know kids thrive on routine. But to be sporadic every now and again is not going to cause a need for therapy, at least not for the kids!😜 Let the kids do things that are usually not “COOL” with you. Let me give you some examples:
Say Yes When They Ask To Do Things Like:
- Go ONE MORE TIME!
- Go to the pool when supper time is in 30 minutes
- Have the 3rd piece of chocolate
- Turn on the water hose
- Pour the milk themselves
- Do anything by themselves
- Make cookies out of the blue
- Play in the rain
- Cook (You can help.)
- Can I help you, Mom?
- Pick out their wardrobe
- Play with them
Related Article: 42 Ingenious Tricks That Make Everyday Parenting So Much Fun
2. Being a YES Parent May Mean Saying Nothing When You Would Usually Say Something:
Sometimes our kids don’t ask our permission. They just do it! Not saying no can be the same as saying YES.
Here are some examples:
- It is a fact that parents often are harsher on their child when they see an onlooker giving them The Look that seems to signal, “Do something about that child!” We see the look and then we tell our child, “STOP…” when ordinarily it wouldn’t be a big deal to us. Try being mindful of not reacting quickly when you feel that your family is being judged.
- Let a child take risks.
- When they get rowdy or wrestle, let them.
- Let them make racket and be noisy.
- They walk through the puddle in the parking lot instead of around.
I encourage you to take a quick look at the photos on your phone. Look for pictures that are evidence that you said YES when you really wanted to say no or when you would usually say no. Use the photos as inspiration.
The above are some of mine. Think about the outcome saying YES had. JOY. Empowerment. Creativity. Bravery to name a few.
Furthermore, say YES more, and be sure and get a pic when you do. 30 years from now, your kids will look through their childhood photos, they’ll have the evidence of the ROCKSTAR that you are and the ____ they had! (You decide what goes in the blank.) Fun. Freedom. Adventures…
3. Instead of Starting Your Sentences With NO…
Some days it seems that I may have to say 5 sentences in a row that start with No or Don’t. Get creative in rephrasing these sentences. I’ve seen tantrums end with a No sentences rephrased to start with a Yes. This is a little different from 1 & 2 because the child is not getting to do what they may have set out doing, but at the same time, they are given options other than NO, the end, I said so! Ask for what you want, NOT for what you don’t want.
Here are a few examples:
- Instead of Don’t run. Say You can walk.
- Instead of No, it’s too late for you to drink juice. Say Sure, you can have juice tomorrow.
- Instead of No, kicking. Say, I won’t let you kick me.
- Instead of No, don’t take the cushions off the couch. Say, I want you to leave the cushions on the couch because the dogs might chew them up. (Give the reason why…)
- Instead of NO yelling when your sister is asleep. Say, I need your help keeping your sister down for her nap. Please remember to use your inside voice during naps.
Call to Action
All things considered, I have used in aiding me to become a YES parent are that my boys usually wear Natives or Crocs shoes. They can walk and do a lot and there is super easy clean-up. AND every once in a while, we have a YES DAY inspired by one of our fave authors, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. I figure a Yes Day day lets me experience what it must feel like to be a grandparent.
Without a doubt, you will bring more FUN to your home and family when you practice being a YES Parent!
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Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours! Remember to have fun, laugh and give God the glory! I love you! SS