Do you ever find yourself in such a routine of saying “no” to your kids that you forget to take time to say “yes?”
Kid: “Mom, can I have ice cream for breakfast, Mom?”
Me: “No. Eat your cereal.”
Kid: “Mom, can we go to the beach today, Mom?”
Me: “Are you kidding? No. It’s an 11 hour drive and the dead of winter.”
Kid: “Mom, can I use that knife, Mom?”
Me: “Absolutely, not!”
Kid: “Mom, can we go swimming today, Mom?”
Me: “Are you listening? I said no. It’s 20 degrees outside.”
Kid: “Mom… Mom… Mom…”
Me: “No… no… no…”
Kid: “Mom, can I help you wash those dishes, Mom?”
Me: “No. Mommy’s in a hurry and you’ll just make a mess.”
…Enter silence paired with complete disappointment on my little boy’s face. He’s given up on spending time with his mom and has retired to watching Netflix in the living room by himself.
What just happened? When did I become the mom that simply bit back without offering suggestions, or finding something I could say yes to? When did I become the mom that defaulted to no before even thinking through what my child was really asking me? He wasn’t just asking me if he could do these things. He was asking if he could have some of my time. And I should have said yes.
What could you say yes to today?
Could you say yes to letting your child help in the kitchen even if that means water from the dishes gets on the floor?
Could you say yes to reading a stack of books in the middle of the afternoon instead of making them wait until bedtime?
Could you say yes to a special trip to the ice cream shop?
Could you say yes to cuddling during a TV show instead of using that time for yourself?
Sometimes, as parents, we have to say no. But when you have the choice to say yes, consider taking it. All they’re asking for is to be with you. And they’re only little for a little bit.
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