Friday, March 21, 2014

Say Yes

I'm not sure how many questions I get asked each day, but it has to be in the hundreds. I was joking around with some friends recently. We were laughing over the fact that kids will ask questions about things that they know the answers to. "Mom! Where are my Legos?" or "Mom, where's the milk?" (when it's literally directly in front of them). One I get every night is, "Mom, may I wear these same socks tomorrow?" and the answer is always, "No buddy. No, you can't."


When it boils down to it a lot of the questions I'm asked require a "Yes." or "No." answer. Usually when the answer ends up being "Yes." it means that I am required to involve myself. "Yes, you may go outside." means that I have to get the kids ready to go out and then take care of all the coats, mittens, etc when they come back in. "Yes, you may play with play-doh." results in me finding said play-doh and also cleaning up the play-doh mess afterward, while keeping the baby from eating the stray chunks that have rolled helter skelter around the kitchen. "Yes, you may play with puzzles." generally means a massive puzzle mishmash occurs in my family room necessitating direction in cleaning up said puzzle wreckage.



It all comes down to what I want to model in this house. These four little people who depend on me day in and day out look to me as their guide. They are regularly taking mental notes on what I do, how I act, and what I say. When I say "No." out of convenience for myself, they're getting schooled in selfishness. When I say "Yes." and put my own needs aside in order to do something for them, or someone else for that matter they get a front row seat to a show of sacrifice. I have the unique opportunity as their parent to daily lay down my own needs in order to meet theirs.


 Saying, "Yes." also provides your children with some control, which in turn produces confidence. If I'm always shutting my kids down by saying, "No." to their requests they will have a much harder time making their own decisions. If they feel like their desires are an inconvenience, silly, or unimportant it could be a real detriment to their feelings of self worth.


There will be many unavoidable and necessary "Nos." "No, you may not hit your sister, run with that knife, eat right before dinner, go to that frat party..." I trust that if instead of saying "No." all the time to my kids over inconsequential things and rather taking the opportunity to say "Yes." as often as I possibly can it will breed confidence. They will be more confident in their own decisions. They will be confident that they are loved. They will be confident that when they do receive a "No." that it is for their own well being.


When God sent Jesus to die on the cross Jesus didn't want to, but He said "Yes." for us, because that's how much he loves us. Saying "Yes." to my kids whenever possible is one of the ways that I can not only show them how much I love them, but more importantly how much Jesus loves them.



16 comments:

  1. You know I'm so with you. Every.word. Love this!

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  2. So true! Sometimes, I get so caught up in life and find myself saying no a lot. :( Working on getting better at dropping things off and just enjoy the day with my kids.

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    1. Absolutely! I think, for me it's a pattern. If I'm saying no, I keep saying no so I try to switch gears whenever I catch myself so that I can be a lot more conscious of what I'm actually saying no to! Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. What great examples of the power and responsibilities of the word "yes". This is a wonderful article on mindful parenting.

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    1. Thank you, Shelah. It's definitely a learning process for me. I so appreciate your comment!

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  4. Beautiful thoughts. Your photos are lovely too.

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  5. I really enjoyed reading this today. I feel like with a toddler I am constantly saying "no" and I need to find more ways to say YEs! Such great examples and I need to be more conscious of my answers!

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    1. Amanda, it's so true! Toddlers and preschoolers are constantly asking us questions and it becomes a knee jerk reaction to say no (at least for me). Thank you so very much for stopping by and commenting.

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  6. This was definitely a good reminder that it's good to say "yes" to the things I actually CAN do but may not WANT to do. In retrospect, it will make my children's life much more fulfilling and I doubt I'll even remember the "inconvenience" it might've caused me.

    Also, I've been noticing lately that my toddler is also starting to ask where things are when they are literally RIGHT in front of her or she just set it down somewhere seconds before she asks. It's new and it baffles me!

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    1. That's so interesting! She must be getting distracted. So many new things to notice and learn about!

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  7. I am an atheist, but your philosophy of slowing down and saying yes is absolutely something I fully relate to. There is plenty of time in the world to do the little things our kids want to enjoy with us, and how much pleasure we can get from slowing down ourselves! Sometimes my child wants to lie down in the grass and stare up at the sky and I always say yes to that. It has become my favorite activity, second maybe only to reading, in the world, and she taught me how to do it! This was a really beautiful post!

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    1. Yes, Leslie! Having kids is probably the best reminder to me that I need to take my time and not rush through everything trying to finish. Every.thing. takes longer with kids and that's really not a bad thing!

      Lying and looking at the sky is lovely. I completely agree.

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  8. That is a great way to look at it, and hat a great analogy! I will have to remember this for when my kiddos are asking me non stop questions! Have you seen the movie Uncle Buck? There is a really funny quote about this in that movie!

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    1. I haven't seen that movie. I'll have to check it out. Now I'm extremely curious!

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