I have a coworker who just took a short trip out of town with her husband. He is the outdoorsy type. He loves exploring and finding adventure and she is more of the stay at the cabin and read a book type.
This, as you might imagine, is a source of conflict between them whenever they go away together. So she decided to try something different this time. She decided that every time her husband suggested they do something that involved them going outside, instead of complain and give reasons why they shouldn’t do it, she would just say yes and go along with it.
And when she came back to work she said she had the greatest time. She said she had way more fun than she thought she was going to have. All because she decided to say yes instead of no.
So how does this apply to raising our kids?
Watching a baby develop and grow is fascinating. It’s fun to watch them learn new things and see their personality come to the forefront. We were counting how many words are youngest daughter understands and I was amazed by the length of the list. It’s amazing how fast she learns the meaning of words and how she responds to them.
It’s also fun to listen to her speak and hear her little voice develop. If you have kids you know that the only word we didn’t have to teach her was no. Like every other child before her she didn’t need to learn that one little word because she hears it so often. She knows the word no.
So what if we took a page from my coworkers book? Instead of saying no to almost everything (like we usually do) we could instead say yes. This is a difficult thing for me because, after all, I’m the dad. I get to be in charge right? But the lines have been blurred and this isn’t about who’s in charge this is about relationship building.
Here’s the challenge. Pick a Saturday and decide that you will say yes to your kids as much as you can. Obviously you have to use good judgment and not say yes to things that are dangerous or illegal. Let’s fight our urge to say no and just say yes. Most of us are in the habit of saying no so that is our default response to our kids. But the way to form a good habit is the same as forming a bad habit. You have to just start doing it the way you want to do It.
So pick a Saturday and decide to ruin it. But it won’t really ruin anything because it will be a relationship building day. The kids will have fun and you’ll learn that you don’t have to be in control all of the time. It isn’t really ruined it will just appear that way.