Why is it so hard for us are parents to just say “yes” to our kids? “No” seems to come forth so much easier, doesn’t it? And isn’t that also one of the first words that our kids learn to say?
“NO!” was one of the first words my kids learned as toddlers (Usually said very emphatically too!) No one had to teach them to say that. We worked hard to get them to say “Mama” and “Dada”. We spent time encouraging them to say “love you!”. What a joy it was each time they would repeat these words that we’d been trying to get them to say.
However, it was not such a joy the first time the word “No!” came out of their mouth! It shouldn’t have been a surprise to us, considering how often while training them, we used that word. When they started to touch something they shouldn’t, we said “No!” When they started going towards the bottom step to climb up, we said “No!”
It’s necessary as moms to use the word “no”, so we can keep our kids from situations where they can get hurt. The potential problem though is that in saying “no” so many times through out the day, we let it become a habit. This habit carries over well past the training stage. It’s easy to just say start saying no to many of their requests.
Some of the reasons we often say “no” to our kids are:
*It’s inconvenient and requires work, prep, or clean up
*We are tired
*We are busy
*We have too much to do
*We just don’t want to
I still remember the first time I realized how quick I was to say no to the kids. It was the first snow of the winter, and of course, the kids all wanted to go out and play in the snow. They asked eagerly if they could go out, and in my mind I didn’t see happy kids having fun in the snow; I saw all the time involved in putting on of snowsuits, hats, mittens and boots. Then I envisioned the piles of wet snowsuits, mittens, hats, and boots that would soon be all over my kitchen floor. So I said “No. Not right now.” (meaning, probably not that day)
I saw their little faces fall, and immediately felt bad realizing how quickly they lost their excitement, simply because I didn’t want to be inconvenienced! Then I thought about how often I had been saying no, just because it was a bother to me.
As I thought about it, I decided that it was time for me to quit being an up-tight Mom who never had patience or time to allow fun things. Does that mean I started to say yes to every request my kids made? Of course not! But I did make it a goal to just say yes whenever I could.
As Moms, we should say YES whenever there’s no good reason to say no!
Sometimes saying yes to the simplest thing will make their day — a walk around the block, eating lunch out back on a blanket, building a fort for them to play in, etc. It might be a little bit inconvenient, but we need to let the kids have fun and be kids.
Often when the kids were irritable or bored, I found that saying yes to one of their requests was the best thing I could do! The smile on their faces makes the little bit of extra work, or the inconvenience worth it.
Can I challenge you today to look for opportunities to say YES to your kids?