Taking up the #YesChallenge and my journey to be a #YesMom
Mumma, can I have an ice cream today? No!
Mumma, I want to climb up on that swing. No, baby it’s too high.
Mumma, I will cut this paper on my own. No, Hiya… you won’t be able to!
Mumma, I want to… No!
Mumma…I. Hiya! No!
Is this a common scene in your home? You are not alone. This is a usual scene at my home too. In fact, as parents, I’m sure most of us use the word, ‘No’ more than any other in our vocabulary. But what else do we do to keep a tab on our little devils?! We say ‘No’ to protect them against so many dangers that they don’t even know about or in many cases willfully ignore!
Kids love to explore the world. They want to get their hands dirty. They love to fly. But what they don’t understand is where they will fall. And as parents, it is our duty to hold their hands and lead the way. And that’s exactly why we have to say ‘No.’ – This was my perception until I saw this video.
Watching this video and the one that came before it (‘Find out how your NO impacts your kids,’) made me realise that by saying, ‘NO,’ I was doing more harm to my kid than good. I was limiting my daughter’s imagination. I was taking away from her an opportunity to learn from experiences, an opportunity to experiment. Perhaps, I was depriving her from a new perspective.
And, by saying, ‘No’ I was also being a little selfish by saving myself from the consequences of what ‘an unrestrained’ child can bring into our lives and homes. So I took up the #YesChallenge and I can tell you, it did bring a difference to our lives.
Who knew… a simple three letter world could change so much?
Like any other day, my daughter had a minimum of 10 requests. I fought off the urge to say no, took a deep breath and uttered my first yes of the day. Her request- to play with the apartment kids in the evening. Now the kids in the apartment are older than her and often in a group, they can get more boisterous. But I thought, I have to start somewhere I said yes and then called a neighbor (the one with the oldest kid) and asked her to ask her daughter to keep an eye on my little one.
The decision weighed on me, was it the right choice, is she too young? Have I not thought this through? Should I go back on my decision and change it to a firm no? I waited, trying to distract myself with different tasks at hand. Soon it was play time. She washed up, changed and drank her milk in a jiffy! Just the thought of going down to play “like a big girl” had her on her best behavior – I didn’t have the heart to say no now.
So when she left, I spent an agonizing hour staring at the clock and then, went down to check on them myself. When I got there, I couldn’t find a single one, and to tell the truth, I panicked! I headed straight to my neighbour’s and to my relief found that the older girl and a couple of kids my daughters age where happily enjoying story time upstairs! And the look of joy on my daughter’s face was definitely worth the hours of agony I spent.
From that day on, I have learnt to trust my instincts as a parent and give my daughter more freedom.
Does that mean I am saying ‘Yes’ to all demands of my four-and-a-half-year-old? Not even in her dreams! However, I’ll definitely say Yes more often, working around with better options to communicate a no. It won’t be easy. But, I’ll try nevertheless – to give her a freewheeling childhood, to give her an unrestrained environment to experiment, learn and dream.
One more thing that I had said Yes to was thins brand ActivKids Immuno Boosters by Cipla. Only to realize that the campaign #YesMom was done by them. It is a kid’s nutrition product that builds immunity. It mentions the presence of key immunity nutrients that our kid lack today. H picked it for its choco-bite format and I allowed her as they were any day better than the sugar loaded candies. I plan to use them further and come back with results. Best part – I don’t have to bargain with my kid to have it! I guess subconsciously this has in a way boosted my instincts to say Yes.
So, with just a little change in the way we talk and do things, we can see a massive transformation in our kids’ personality. Some of these changes include:
1. Awakened curiosity!
2. Strengthened trust between child and parent.
3. Kids’ self-confidence gets a boost knowing that his/her parents think he can ‘do it’!
4. ‘Life changing’ experiences come their way when you say Yes!
5. They learn where to stop.
6. They learn it’s okay to fail!
Are you game to be a #YesMom? It will be the best decision you make for your child and more importantly- your sanity! I cannot tell you how much easier and fun parenting has become, you will need to join me to believe it! I urge you to take up the #YesChallenge, share your stories and inspire the moms world over with this new way of parenting!