Would you love to have a simple parenting tool you can start implementing right away that will help you build trust with your kids? There is one simple word that can make a huge difference… “YES!”
An easy way to begin giving our kids more yes’s is to make a Yes Jar. Here’s what you need:
Healthy snacks such as granola bars, nuts, fruit leather, beef jerky
Fun treats such as cookies, suckers, gum
Coupons for connecting activities such as playing a game with mom/dad, a back rub, etc
Popsicle sticks with the names of fridge items like cheese sticks,fruit, veggie
Whatever else you are willing to say yes to ANYTIME your kids ask
How does it work?
Start out by gathering your supplies. Toys from the dollar store or leftovers from a birthday party goodie bag, as well as the always convenient amazon, are a great place to start. When you get snacks it is important to find a balance between fun and healthy. It’s great to use organic suckers and naturally sweetened gum, but bubble gum and cookies can be a fun treat too. Once you fill your jar, tell your kids about it and be willing to say yes anytime they ask
Have fun saying yes and building trust in a new way!
Q: If I do this with my kids they will drive me crazy asking nonstop! Would it still work if I put limits on when they can ask and how many times?
A: We would discourage putting too many limits on it and therefore making it a battle ground. Some limits you might put on it are a bedtime or limiting the size and number of things in the jar.
Q: I have a lot of kids. That sounds expensive to keep a jar full of things all the time! How do you do this without spending a fortune?
A: It all depends on how much and what you put in your jar. We only fill up our jar once a day when the kids go to bed, and then when it is empty it is empty. When you first start using the yes jar, your kids will ask you for something A LOT! They want to see if you will really say yes EVERY time they ask. So, at first it may cost a little more to fill it up, but as they begin to trust that you will really say yes you will see the asking slow down.
Q: My kids are not very good eaters, so we don’t snack a lot between meals. What if my kids ask for something to eat just before a meal?
A: This can be tricky because many of our kids have food “issue” and we struggle to get them to eat or they want to eat constantly. The snacks in the ‘yes’ jar are put there by you, so choose wisely. Mostly nutritious foods will ensure that even if they ask just before dinner, you are okay saying yes because it is healthy.
Q: If I say yes too much, my kids will expect me to say yes all the time, and sometimes I need to say no. Why is it important for me to say yes?
A: It seems counter-intuitive, but by saying yes more often we can actually help our kids accept our no more easily. Taking the time to examine why we say no so often can help us connect with our kids. Watch this video where Amy Monroe talks about building trust by saying yes.
This post also appears on Empowered to Connect