What I am learning about saying 'yes'!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I consider myself a ‘yes’ parent, I give my children the opportunity to try, to learn, to discover.

Do you remember a time you really wanted to do something or try something (that wasn’t life threatening. It was all you could think about and all you could concentrate on until you had it – until you tried it. When you did get it –what happened? After that it wasn’t that important anymore, that feeling of desperation left and in most cases the feeling transferred to something else.

Bear in mind that this is something that is based on a child’s developmental stage which may or may not be linked with their age and you know your child and more importantly weighing up what you are comfortable with for your child.

I tend to say yes more than I say no.

“Mum can I have the lolly?”, “yes you may”,

“Mum can I have this ipod game it looks really cool”, “let me look- is it violent?” I think children should be allowed to have the opportunity to self regulate and learn why something “is so” from personal experience – provided that it isn’t going to cause them harm and that it is age appropriate.

There are two things I’m learning about saying yes - “Yes you may”, “yes - but only” or “yes and”

If I say yes – my now 10yo isn’t afraid or resistant to come to me in the future and ask again. Also, he is more open to when I say ‘no’ and understands after some explanation that no is definitely no, I’m serious about it and more importantly why I say no!

My son recently with his pocket and birthday money bought an ipod touch and saved up to get his own credit for it. It is linked to my account name so I can track what games he is buying – although interestingly - I have found he asks my permission before he buys anything anyway. He had been asking me over and over for a certain game that had some explosions in it - eventually I said “yes but - only the free version” and within two days he came to me to ask me for another game which was a cartoon game. He said, “that other one I got the other day, I’m going to delete it because people were exploding and there were big blood splats” I watched as he deleted it and thought how he had come to that decision all by himself and was proud that he could justify in his own mind and regulate what was not acceptable to him. If I had told him no and tried to explain I don’t think he would have got it but through experience he has learnt a valuable lesson in self determination, self control and decision making.

Are there ‘safe things’ you say yes to? Are there areas where you could say yes more? to create independence, perhaps letting him serve their own cereal etc.


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