Do you find yourself automatically saying “No” to your kids all of the time? It’s an easy habit for parents to fall into; often we start saying “No” to our children when they’re just babies “No-no, that’s not safe for you…” As they get older we continue to say “No” without giving a thought to the situation.
But let’s stop and think about it for a moment; as adults we don’t like being told no, why should we expect out children to be any different?
I invite you to try an experiment for one week: instead of saying “No” to your children, say “Yes” instead. All the time, to everything they ask.
Yes, I’m serious!
No, I”m not crazy.
As adults we know that children need guidance because they don’t understand that some things are dangerous or simply not acceptable. There are some things that children cannot do, period. But we don’t have to tell them “No” constantly to get our message across; often the message can be flipped to a positive “Yes” statement instead.
Using positive words and phrases obviously reduces the number of negative responses your child hears and cuts down on the amount of frustration both you and your child experience every day.
For instance, when I was a child I wanted a kitten in the worst way. Instead of telling me a flat-out “No,” my parents said “Sure, you can have a kitten when you have a home of your own.” Of course I was disappointed, but I also looked forward to having a home and kitten some day. Now we have 4 cats… maybe they should have said “No!” and gotten the idea out of my head.
How about some more?
“Mom, can we stay up late?” Z-Man and Little Guy love to stay up late, which for them means half an hour past their regular bedtime.
“Yes, on Saturday night, if you make a deposit in your Sleep Bank by sleeping late on Saturday morning.” I learned the hard way not to fall for the “We promise we’ll sleep in late tomorrow…” line.
“Mom, can we have some candy?”
“You betcha! Pick some out to have for dessert after supper tonight.”
“Mom, can I go to Evan’s?”
“Yup, as soon as your chores are done!.”
See, it’s not so hard!
I challenge you to think of ways you can say “Yes” instead of “No” to your children for a week. Then pop back in and let me know how it went.