6 Reasons Why Your Kids Need You to Say “Yes” More Often
Saying no: It’s the job of every parent, right? Can I stay up past bedtime? No. Can I eat ice cream for dinner? No. Can I jump off the roof to see if I can fly? NO! Saying no can easily become a parent’s reflex because, well, sometimes it’s just easier than saying yes.
But the truth is, all kids need you to say yes more often, whether it’s to an extra scoop of ice cream, a day off practice, or a night out with just mom and dad. There are plenty of reasons why – and we’ve detailed them for you here.
- Sometimes, they’re bored. This is one of the number one reasons your kids bug you – and as annoying as it is, it’s a trait of every child at some point or another. While some boredom every once in a while is good for kids (imagination, anyone?) days on end of having nothing to do only lead to trouble. If your kids seem to be yearning for some educational or even playful stimulation, it may be time to schedule a trip to the museum or even a family game night. Structured, planned activities such as these not only help your children develop their own personalities and ideas but give them something to look forward to, too.
- They’re always looking for your approval. Sometimes, when they beg you to play basketball with them, your kids aren’t looking for a grown-up playmate – they want to show one of the most important and influential people in their lives just how skilled they are. Next time your child wants you to listen to them practice the piano for hours on end (even though you have loads of housework to do before bedtime,) try saying yes. You may be surprised at the skills they have attained, and they will take pride in knowing you are invested enough in their lives to have a listen.
- You saying yes helps them learn to say yes. Growing up listening to a parent sounding like a broken record with all the no’s makes a child less inclined to say yes to things in the future – whether it’s opportunities, friendships, or adventures. Teaching your children by example that it’s okay to be flexible with your plans and say yes to things you might feel a bit uncomfortable doing is part of leading a healthy life! Positive parenting is all the rage, and for good reason! (Pro tip: Check out this positive parenting course for tips that can help!)
- Time is fleeting. One day, your tot won’t be knocking on the bathroom door while you’re trying to get five minutes of peace because she will be off raising her own family. Regardless of how overwhelming having children can be, taking the opportunity to let them stay up and snuggle you for fifteen more minutes will be a special memory that not only they will remember forever, but you, too. Interacting with your children by doing things they want to do, too, is part of experiencing being a parent to a child whole-heartedly, and is not something to be missed out on. Who knows – playing dress up may help you unwind from your rough day at work in ways you never thought possible.
- It’s good for you, too. Not only is saying no all the time taxing on your kids, but it’s rough on you, too. Saying no – followed by the “why not’s” – is exhausting. While you may think saying no all the time is easier, allowing yourself to go with the flow and be open to new experiences with your children sometimes makes for a less harrowing day and may help you loosen up, too – and a happy mom is a great mom!
- They’ll respect your no’s more. By saying yes to your children’s bizarre requests every once in a while, your no’s have more power. Your kids won’t automatically expect every answer to be no, ready to fight it. Instead, they will be able to ask you questions and learn that whether the answer is yes or no, you’re sticking to it and you have their best interests at heart. Instead of feeling that you just always revert to saying no, they will know that, when you do say no, there must be good reason. This will help your children respect your judgment, whether they are toddlers or teenagers.
To say yes or to say no: There is no exact formula, but going with your gut can work wonders. As long as you strike a balance between being accepting of your children’s ideas and meeting their needs while not letting them run amuck, you will eventually find a method that works for you and your family. Maybe you’ll decide that you’ll only say yes to extra ice cream on weekends – and that can be your little secret. Regardless, you will learn when to say yes and no through experience, and your kids will value you more for it.
Comment down below with a time you said yes to children and DIDN’T regret it! What made that experience special?