Do you ever feel like you are constantly saying NO to your child? You know you have to set boundaries, but yet you want to stay connected, right? This is happening in lots of households. Now, for the good news. You can and will become a YES parent after reading this post.
Can you believe that most 1-Year-Olds hear NO on the average… 400 times a day??!! Yes, in recent years UCLA did a survey and this is what they found. Think about it. How many times a day does someone have to tell you no before it negatively affects you. Right! Can you imagine 400?
Wouldn’t it be great if you could teach your child what they can and can’t do without always having to say NO? It is possible when you learn how to talk to your child from a positive perspective.
I’ll share the exact language you can use to set boundaries for your child without having to constantly say No to your child.
What Is 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. And when you need to say NO, it’s rewording how you say it.
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.
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.
The Benefits of Becoming a YES Parent
- Strengthens the parent-child relationship
- Builds confidence in the child
- Increased self-esteem
- Improved emotional intelligence
- Builds trust
- Strengthens parent-child bond
- Everyone involved is happier because it’s positive
- Helps the child accept NO easier
- Fewer tantrums and fits
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.
5 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: 105 Ways to Make Your Kids Laugh: Laughter Is The Best Medicine
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. Instead of stopping their fun in its tracks, breathe through it.
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. Who cares what others think? It’s so freeing!
- Let a child take risks. When you want to say, “Be careful!”, don’t.
- When they get rowdy or wrestle, let them.
- Let them make racket and be noisy.
- Let them walk through the puddle in the parking lot instead of around. Really, it’s just shoes. They’re going to outgrow them in 3 seconds anyway.
3. How Do You Want Your Kid To Remember You?
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 picture above is an example of mine. There’s a lot I wanted to say. That water costs money. Turn that water hose off. The back yards going to be a mess. Now, I have to clean ya’lls feet!
Instead, I watched from the window for a bit, caught this picture, and breathed deeply. Today, I’m so glad I did.
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…
4. 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!
It’s this simple ya’ll. Ask or state the behavior you want, NOT 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. I’ll be sure and serve it for breakfast.
- Instead of No kicking. Say, I won’t let you kick me. That hurts!
- 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.
- Instead of Don’t hit the dog. Say, Be gentle with the dog. Watch how I pet her.
Other Forms of the Word No You CAN Change: Don’t, Stop, Not
Let it be stated that when I tell you to become a YES parent I’m not telling you to NEVER use the word NO with your child. I’m suggesting you set boundaries for your child without stating NO All. Of. The. Time.
Related Article: The Way We Talk to Our Child Becomes Their Inner Voice
5. Let Kids Be Kids
For peat sakes, kids were meant to get dirty and messy and to spend most of their day playing. A lot of times it is INCONVENIENT for parents. You don’t want to clean them. You don’t want to clean up, and you want them to do what you want to do. Run your errands. Not have a tantrum on your timeline. Say Yes to you when you ask them to do something.
It’s not how kids were created. In fact, study after study proves that the more you give your child uninterrupted KID TIME, the more physically, mentally and socially healthy your child will become.
It’s a choice.
Related Article: 7 Easy Tips to Be a More Patient Mom
Call to Action
I have some favorite resources that I have used in assisting me with becoming a YES parent. One, my boys usually wear Natives or Crocs shoes. They can walk and do a lot and there is super easy clean-up.
Secondly, every once in awhile, 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. Buy the Book on Amazon.
And while you’re saying YES to your kids, say YES to yourself as well. Keep the whole family healthy. Remember you can’t give what you don’t have.
Without a doubt, you will bring more FUN to your home and family when you become 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