Saying Yes – A Parenting Experiment
I don't like disciplining my kids. I do it, of course. As parents we need to set limits, boundaries, and teach our kids. But that doesn't mean I like it.
That means I say "no" a lot. Or otherwise use a negative phrase when I need to get my kids to understand that I can't always be at their beck and call. Often that means that the stream of words coming out of my mouth are: No. Nope. Not today. Later. I can't. Another time.
I don't like saying "no." But sometimes I have to.
But sometimes I don't. Sometimes I can say yes. And I want to create more opportunities to say yes rather than no. Especially when it comes to my older daughter.
My oldest is 4.5 years old. So she doesn't nap. After preschool and lunch, she and I often find ourselves starring down the barrel of the afternoon while her younger brother naps. Since brother is napping, we can't leave the house (Kate often asks to go to Target at this time, and she can't seem to understand why Mom won't leave brother home alone while she and I go shopping.). And we can't make a lot of noise. And the activity can't take too long because I also try to work, prep dinner, answer emails, and do chores during this time.
See? That's a lot of "nos."
But this year I'm committed to saying "yes" to some of her requests during the afternoons when it's just her and me. But I didn't want to give her carte blanche freedom when it came to these activities. So I brainstormed a couple of things I could offer and let her choose.
Recently, instead of saying no you cannot do any, I gave her options where she was in control of the activity. So in this case, I offered drawing, scrapbooking, or making cookies.
She selected making cookies.
This worked out because making cookies is something I've been wanting to do, so I was happy to take her up on it.
We got out one of my cookie books, and I guided her to a couple recipes (ones where I had all the ingredients on hand.). She picked, and we got started.
It was a nice way to spend a portion of the afternoon that would have otherwise gone something like this: Kate asking for me to play Candy Land for the 100th time, me saying no because I had emails to write, Kate whining, me saying "no whining" while I put away loads of laundry, Kate asking to watch another episode of Sponge Bob while I said "no."
Saying yes to an afternoon activity kept her busy, was fun for me to do with her, and let me say "yes!"
What activities can you offer your child so you can say "yes?"
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