Just before teatime: “Mum can I use the big scissors to cut some paper? please say yes, mum please, just say yes” from my five year-old.
My instinctive response was “No, I’m getting the tea ready now, I can’t let you use the scissors on your own”
But I stopped myself, and said “Yes, let’s cut out one piece now together and then after tea if I’ve time I’ll help you with the rest, otherwise tomorrow for sure”
I’m trying to say Yes to my kids.
Not all the time. Not when the toddler wants the scissors.
That’s a big fat No. Not when the request is going to impact health or wellbeing or safety.
But to those little requests that come from small children every day, often at inconvenient times.
Like “can I have this box to make a rocket?” when I planned to use the box for putting clothes in the attic
Like “can we make ice pops?” when I really need to fold the laundry
Like “can I wear a party dress today please, please, please” even though we’re not going to a party
Like “please can you help me pick out a princess costume to wear for breakfast” when I’m rushing out the door to work
Little requests to which it’s easy to say No, but to which it’s not much harder to say Yes.
And often I still say no – I can’t really say to my boss “sorry I’m late for work, but my daughter simply can’t have breakfast in anything but a princess costume”
So when I can, I bite back my instinctive No before the word leaves my lips, and change it to a Yes.
The look of delight on the little faces make the extra effort worth every second.
|Please can we bake? Ah go on so…|
If you’d like more great ideas about how to improve your family life and be happier, I strongly suggest you check out this super post from Bumbles of Rice : The Happiness Project
As well as avoiding saying “no” all the time, I highly recommend the Six Second Hug – this is now a daily event in our house 🙂
4 thoughts on “Just say yes!”
Great idea OM! I try to do this too- I picked it out as one of the tips for being a more lighthearted parent from the Happiness Project – only saying no when it matters, and also about using positive language when saying no to kids/ it’s worth a look- or even just look at my blogpost about it. S
That’s probably where I saw if Sinead! I remember reading your Happiness Project post and loving it. We still do six second hugs in our house which I remember from your post – I can’t believe what a difference it makes. My four year old gave me a 100 second hug yesterday – which might be taking it just a bit too far 😉
But yes, I remember growing up and mostly getting “we’ll see” as a response when we asked for things, and then I caught myself saying “we’ll see” a lot to my own kids, so decided I needed to turn at least some of my answers into “yes”
I need to go back and look at your post to see more about the positive language when saying no as well, that can be hard…
It’s when they tell me in tiny voices “I can’t Mama, I too busy” or “in two minutes” that I hear my own voice and feel bad for saying now. Even saying “I’d love to do stickers with you once I’ve finished washing up” gives a better message I think/hope.
Yes same in our house, I’d guess in lots of houses. We all say “in a minute” too much, I’m trying really hard on that one too. If only there was a medal for trying…
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