Lately, I feel like I spend an inordinate amount of time saying no to John.
No, you may not have a milkshake with your ice cream.
No, you may not have another ten minutes of computer time.
No, you can’t skip your homework today.
All day every day, I’m telling him no. He’s pushing a lot of boundaries and asking for things he knows I’m not going to agree to, but it still doesn’t feel great.
So lately, I’ve been trying to make sure that sometimes the answer is yes. Even when the yes may be inconvenient or involve the bending of rules.
John was horrified when his nerf basketball hoop broke this week after one too many monster dunks. When he asked if we could get another one, I just said yes. Not “maybe tomorrow,” or “if you eat a good dinner,” or “when you have enough money saved up.” Just yes. We got in the car on the spot and went to four stores and (thank goodness) found a new hoop. Mission accomplished. He was happy to have the hoop and I was just glad not to have said no.
I have also recently agreed to a sour patch kid before breakfast, reading for another 30 minutes, and three play dates in a row. There may be consequences from time to time, but I don’t think his upbringing is going to be compromised by a sour patch. Structure is important and I work hard at it. But man, sometimes it just feels good to say yes.
We do a “Yes Day!” based on the book. Our answer is “Yes” all day long. The kids have to formulate their questions to work within the parameters. “Can I skip piano practice today if I do my regular practice tomorrow?” They love it, and we find that it’s the little things that they look forward to asking on that day.
Inspired by John’s sour patch kid before breakfast, I am going to say yes to having a dark chocolate kiss before my breakfast. I am, after all, just a kid at heart.
My “kids”, now in their 20’s, still talk about how they would brag to their friends that I would let them have pie for breakfast – when we had leftover pie. Better than a pop-tart any day!