I was recently inspired to only say yes to my children. Have you ever tried that?
I came across a Buzzfeed video where this mom decided to only say yes to her kids for an entire week. Whatever they asked for, she delivered.
Spaghetti tacos? Dinner picnic at the park? Spontaneous take your kids to work day?
Yes, yes, yes!
All week she bent to their will and at the end, of course, she had this grand epiphany about herself as a parent. You can see the whole thing here.
It got me thinking
What would happen if I only said “yes”?
Would chaos ensue? Total anarchy? Would the world end?
Or the big question: Would it make me a better parent?
Since I’m too much of a control freak to last a whole week, I decided that I would say yes for one entire day. I figured that would be a sufficient amount of time to have my own epiphany. No need for prolonged torture.
As a parent of very small children, giving up control is exceptionally hard. They can be unpredictable and you have a constant desire to direct the environment to ensure that everyone is safe and happy.
Belly is only six months so she was mostly exempt from this experiment. Not to mention, she’s extremely easygoing anyway.
So my focus turned to Goose and her sometimes outrageous two-year-old wants.
I chose a day when we didn’t already have plans so that there could be no interference with anything she asked for. I was prepared for the worst.
Rules for Yes Day
- I could only say yes from the time Goose woke up in the morning until she went to sleep at night.
- I would make exceptions for hygiene and safety concerns, like washing her hands or playing gently with Belly.
- I would not tell Goose that I was only saying yes. I don’t think she’s old enough to consciously take advantage of me saying yes, but I wanted her requests to be genuine. As far as she knew, nothing was different about the day.
Here’s what she asked for:
- Tablet Time– She woke up and the first thing she asked was to get on the iPad. I normally allow 20 minutes of tablet time each day after nap so her eyes were wide with surprise when I said “yes” before breakfast.
- Sparkly Dress– She has this sparkly, tulle-y dress that she’s always begging to wear. I usually say no because it makes a massive glittery mess on EVERYTHING. But I had to let her wear it and just tried not to think about all of the vacuuming that would follow. (We ended up letting her wear the dress for Halloween so I think she’s over it now)
- Food in her Bedroom– I am very firm about no food outside of the kitchen and dining area. Again, I’m not fond of messes and they’re bound to happen with a two-year-old. So when she came into her room with a pouch of yogurt, I just smiled and said a silent prayer.
- TV– The tablet died after a couple of hours and she quickly asked if she could have TV time. My goodness. She would be on screens all day, every day if I let her!
- No Nap- I love nap time! That is my precious time to breathe and recharge for the second part of the day. Plus, Goose turns into a gremlin when she’s sleep deprived and I wasn’t trying to deal with that… But I allowed her to stay awake for Yes Day. And I was really sad. And a little scared.
- Popcorn– At some point in the afternoon, Goose asked to have popcorn with M&Ms while she watched TV on the couch. That is A) Against my food out of the kitchen rule and B) I rarely ever let her have chocolate. But it was Yes Day so… Sure, kid. Knock yourself out.
- Pizza for Dinner– She asked to have pizza for dinner and I pulled out my phone to order before she changed her mind. I have no complaints about this.
- Hugs– Goose is a pretty independent child. Sometimes I have to beg her to hug me. On Yes Day, she was constantly seeking affection. She asked for hugs, gave me kisses, and asked me to snuggle with her while she watched TV. I think it was her way of acknowledging that things were different and she just wanted affirmation that I hadn’t completely lost my mind and given up taking care of her.
What I Learned
The world did not end and one day of saying yes did not undo two years of parenting.
I had no idea this post would end up being primarily about screens and food. Ha! At the very least, I thought that I would have to haul her tricycle to the park and play with her in the hot sun for a few hours.
I learned that at two-years-old, Goose’s biggest requests are very manageable. Small things make her so happy and it won’t kill me to say yes a little more.
I also learned that it feels good to say yes! There was something very light and peaceful about the word flowing out of my mouth. I’m not going to start saying yes every time she asks to get on a screen or eat chocolate for a snack, but as long as she has a reasonable request, I’ll give it some extra thought.
In case you were wondering
Goose did not turn into a gremlin on Yes Day. Actually, I went to put the baby to sleep at 7:00 pm and came back to this:
Passed out on the couch with the TV still going.
Apparently, doing whatever you want is exhausting.
My Grand Epiphany
So this may come as a surprise, but my biggest take away is that I’m an awesome mom!
Though I’m far from perfect, I am very secure in my parenting style.
Saying yes all day made me question every mommy decision and examine how I interact with my children. My girls are thriving and I’m not going to overly criticize myself when I truly believe that I’m doing a good job.
Sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no. They are learning to accept occasional disappointment.
We moms are so quick to point out all of the things we’re doing wrong, but I promise you that there are far more things you’re doing right!
I’m not sure if saying yes for a day made me a better parent, but it reminded me that I have wonderful children and I’m going to keep trusting my judgment and instincts to be the best mom for them.
So are you willing to have a Yes Day? Let me know what you learn from saying yes to your kids! You may be surprised by the results!
Read my review for these amazing reusable pouches!
This is the way I handle toddler tantrums!
See our tricks for surviving family outings!