As parents, we are often required to say no to our children. And most of the time it is for a good reason.
Can I stay up all night watching TV? No.
Can I have ice-cream for breakfast? No.
Can I jump out of the window in my superhero costume? What?! No!
We all know that children are hardwired to explore the world around them, push boundaries and question parental authority. And our role as responsible adults is to not only nurture and encourage their curiosity but also provide them with a safe and supportive environment in which they can learn and grow.
Teaching our kids about boundaries and limits is an essential part of parenting. And this is where the word “no” becomes our greatest ally. Most parents would agree that “no” is a very effective instrument in their parenting toolkit – everyone understands what it means, it is concise, it leaves no room for ambiguity, and, more often than not, it gets the job done.
Recently, I watched a video “Find out how your NO impacts your kids” and it set me thinking. Do we repeatedly say no to our children because we fear that saying yes would lead to utter chaos in our homes and, by extension, our lives? Which led to another question – what would really happen if we said “yes” more often? I am not suggesting that we give blanket permission for all the requests made by the little people in our homes. Spoiling our children by catering to their every whim and fancy is perhaps one of the worst things we can do as parents.
So, what I am really suggesting is this: by altering the way we talk to our children, we can create opportunities for better communication, learning, and self-reflection. This strategy has the potential to yield several positive results in our children’s lives.
The hardest thing about saying yes is changing our mindset and letting go of preconceived notions about parenting. We instinctively say no, because as parents we assume we must say no repeatedly to protect our children.
If only we opened our eyes and saw the world the way our little ones do:
Beds and sofas are perfect for jumping on
Puddles are perfect for jumping in
Jam and chicken can both go in the same sandwich
Saying yes is a lot of work and may make other parents resent you for creating chaos in their lives too. But what the heck! Our children have a lifetime of being sensible and less goofy ahead of them. They’ll grow up too soon and will hear “no” a lot more than they hear “yes” throughout their adult lives. So let’s give them a glorious and unfettered childhood they deserve now.
Take a deep breath.
And say yes! #YESMOM