Photo by www.tomlichtenheld.com
As the return to school was quickly approaching, I desperately wanted to do something fun with my kids before the routines would set in and time would quickly be swept away in activities. My son had borrowed a book from their school library last year entitled, “Yes Day!” by Tom Lichtenheld. We had so much fun reading that book over and over again and the kids quickly schemed to create ideas of what their own “Yes Day” might look like.
Kids hear the word “no” far too often and having remembered this book I just knew that the day before school began would be the perfect opportunity to surprise them with a “Yes Day” of their own. Admittedly I was a bit nervous about this. What would they ask? Would I be able to resist saying “no” to their requests? I decided some ground rules were in order.
- “Yes Day” could not cost me anything extra.
- We must avoid doing anything dangerous that might cause injury.
- It would be wise to consider all requests keeping in mind the hope for future “Yes Days”.
- Let’s keep it in the family. Adding friends would only complicate things.
- Requesting indefinite “Yes Days” in not permitted. Only mom has the ability to choose if and when future events will be held.
With ground rules in place, it was time for the requests to pour in! Here are several that they came up with.
- Can we have chocolate milk for breakfast?
- Can we have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast?
- Can I make chocolate chip cookies all by myself? (apparently my kids were feeling sugar deprived)
- Can I play the wii?
- Can I play with your make up?
- Can I play with your flute? (Surprisingly their requests were that simple!)
I went into that day thinking I was going to have fun creating a few memories for my kids. And while I’m sure that they will always remember that day, I have to admit it turned out to be a lesson for me.
They surprised me greatly in their reactions. The more they heard yes from me the more they wanted to do for me. Suddenly when I asked them to clean up something, instead of hearing grumbling and complaining, I heard a happy “yes” from them. And instead of playing by themselves while I cleaned the house they wanted to be by my side happily doing whatever (even cleaning) just so they could spend time with me.
Saying “yes” was less about letting my kids get away with whatever they wanted and it was more about creating a positive atmosphere which created happy kids. I highly encourage you to have a “Yes Day” with your kids soon!