Ice Cream for Dinner? Yes!
I have a new mantra, "Just say yes!" And it is working out wonderfully!
When my kids were young I remember hearing, "pick your battles" more than once. In those early years with little kids I did whatever I needed to do to get through the day (or night). So picking my battles made so much sense! I never felt like I was spoiling my kids by meeting their needs and trying to say, "no" as little as possible. Yet those "no's" almost seemed inevitable, "no,no don't touch" "Billy! NO!" It's no wonder it's one of babies first words. And when they start using it for what seems like everything, we as parents get pretty irritated.
As my kids and family size grew so did my impatience! "No" had become my knee jerk answer. "Can I ......NO!" "Will you....NO!" I started sounding much like a toddler with a new and powerful word and I imagine it was really irritating for my kids! Soon my predictable yet arbitrary NO had lost its power. I may have responded with a NO but my kids knew that if they started badgering me, most of the time they could get me to change my answer. My NO didn't have much credibility even when I really needed it to.
After some thought and reevaluation I decided to replace my typical negative response with a more positive YES! It was pretty easy actually. Why not say YES more often? Even when I needed to say NO I would begin with a YES response. It keeps the lines of communication open and the environment positive when you start off with a YES.
So, when my almost 15 yr old son asks for the 1 millionth time if he can drive home, I say YES - when you have your temps. And when he asks to drive around a vacant parking lot, I say YES. When my kids ask for ice cream for breakfast, I say YES- because you only live once and what really is the difference between good ice cream and a bowl of cereal or a yogurt? Both are Dairy and sugar.... maybe some fiber? When my kids ask to have a friend spend the night, YES on Friday. Instead of the typical, NO! It's Tuesday night and your Dad has to and I have to and blah blah blah...(I bet I lost them at NO). Yet when I say YES, even if it is YES tomorrow, YES next time, YES I'll ask Dad, YES when the moon falls from the sky.....They hear YES. It buys me some time to decide if I really need to say NO or can I somehow make this happen for them.
Saying YES is a meeting in the middle and my kids are really appreciating this. I would love to be able to give my kids everything they want, even their crazy, ridiculous requests! And each time I begin with a YES it feels like I can, even if it is when pigs fly.
This an original Ohio Moms Blog post YES you can find Kristen blogging at www.PepperPaints.com