As a mom, I tend to say “no” a lot. It has many forms: “maybe in a little bit”…”not right now”…”let me finish this first”…”just a minute” (then an hour passes)…”Mommy’s busy right now”…and so on.
And, yes, there are perfectly appropriate times for “no”: “no, don’t touch the stove”… “no, we can’t see them today because we have to wait for everyone to be healthy again”… “no, that’s not safe”…etc.
But, there are plenty of “no’s” I give that could easily be “yes’s”…that could encourage my little ones to keep asking, keep seeking me out, keep coming up with creative ideas! Oftentimes, my “no” stems from my own busy-ness or just plain selfishness, when I’m tired or just not feeling up for (yet another) round of playing dolls. Can anyone relate??
Yes, my children need to learn appropriate times to ask, which usually do NOT include: when I’m on a phone call…when I’m in the shower…when my husband and I are in the middle of a conversation. That’s just teaching manners. But being intentional, as I’ve grown to be, to keep phone calls during the day minimal and letting them know I will talk with them after I’m dressed, or reminding them to wait their turn can all be more readily accepted when they’ve gotten plenty of “yes’s” to their sweet requests throughout the day.
You see, they just want me to enter their world. And, at the ages of 5 and 6, this is the window of time where they freely invite me to enter their world just because I’m Mom. But, this window won’t necessarily always be here. Soon, this window will only remain open because I’ve kept it open during this foundational time of establishing a two-way road in our relationship.
If my kiddos primarily hear “no” in this period of time, then I may face having to hear “no” from them in a few years when I’m ready to enter their world. This is the window…now!
So, I’m taking the Yes Challenge, and I want you to join me! For one entire day (baby steps, people!) let’s seek out opportunities to say “yes” to our little ones! Of course there must be “no’s” here and there for safety’s sake and such, but at least for one day, can you open yourself up to saying “yes” as many times as possible? It may just make a “no” easier to take for them. It may just help you appreciate their world more today. It may make you want to say “yes” again tomorrow. So, what do you say?
What are some ways you can say “yes” today?