Toddler

What If You Could Only Say Yes for One Day?

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.

Mental Preparation

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.

*Sigh*

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

  1. I could only say yes from the time Goose woke up in the morning until she went to sleep at night.
  2. I would make exceptions for hygiene and safety concerns, like washing her hands or playing gently with Belly.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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.say yes for one day
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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:

say yes for one day

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!

That’s it.

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!


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24 thoughts on “What If You Could Only Say Yes for One Day?

      1. No she won’t. This will be avoided for two reasons:
        1) She will forget.
        2) I will object haha.

        I love the idea, especially with Kairo. He’s super cautious and considerate. His only requests will be
        1) Milk with every meal
        2) No nap
        3) Late bedtime
        4) Paw Patrol

        It’s not them. It’s me. I’m too lazy. Way too lazy to say yes. WAAAAAAY…you know me.

        1. Haha! I completely understand. My husband wanted no part in Yes Day, but I promise it won’t be as awful as you think. If you change your mind, I’m curious to hear how it goes!

  1. I love your epiphany! I recently got told I wasn’t doing a great job at mommying, which totally made me realize that hello, yes I am, thank you very much. I do want to try this with my little…I’m pretty sure she will spend all day glued to the ipad too. You are doing such a good job raising your two littles, they are so lucky to have the cinamom 🙂
    xo,
    Susan

    1. Thank you! We’re both amazing moms! Don’t listen to anyone who tells you otherwise! And yes, she probably will just be on the ipad all day. Haha! Try not to be disappointed if that happens.

  2. What a sweet idea and I loved hearing about how it went. Loved her passed out exhausted from all the fun! I *might* be brave enough to try this with my 6 and 10 year old boys but I’m pretty sure it would be all screens since we normally are quite limited with them. Hmmmm.

    1. Thanks, Tracey! It really ended up being a great day and so hilarious when I found her asleep! Be sure to share what happens if you decide to give it a try with your boys!

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever had a “yes” day. Lots of yesses around here all the time anyway. What’s really helped me is to stop for a second and think about why I’m saying no. Because my mom would have? Because other moms I know would have? I catch way too many automatic nos coming out of my mouth.

    1. That’s an excellent point, you are so right! I’ve been stopping myself a lot lately and asking why the answer is “no”. It’s usually because the result is somehow inconvenient to me (takes too long, is messy, interferes with what I wanted to do). I’m getting better at catching myself, too!

  4. I actually saw this same video a couple of days ago! I told my husband about it but couldn’t find the link again (so thank you for that!). I’m going to give this a try…at some point, lol. My son will be thrilled (though I still won’t let him climb on the counter for safety reasons, lol).

    1. That’s so funny! I think unlimited screen time is every kid’s dream these days. I’ll wait to tell her we live down the street from Disneyland! Haha!

  5. Quite a challenge! My 2 boys 8yrs and 4yrs, am imagining if I say yes just for 6hrs, I might get admitted in hispital…
    Am determined, i will give it a try soon ☺

    1. I definitely think it works better if you don’t make a big deal about it. Just don’t tell them you’re only saying yes because older kids will for sure take advantage of that! Good luck!

  6. I like this idea! I watched the wine mom video recently too and thought it was great. I do think sometimes we say no out of inconvenience to ourselves. I try as much as possible to say yes to thing but gotta balance it out with minimizing my own anxiety and stress.
    But I also think kids sometimes surprise us when we think a situation will be a disaster and then it turns out amazing 🙂

    1. Absolutely! I thought that I would be miserable all day and that wasn’t the case at all. I just have a bad habit of envisioning the worst case scenario (which is why I often say no in the first place). Anyway, Yes Day was awesome! I highly recommend trying it!

  7. Love that you said yes for a day and I can assure you tv and iPad time would both feature in our yes day too. My inclination is always to say no so having a reminder to say yes is always helpful imo.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! It’s amazing how many times I’ve caught myself saying “no” for no good reason since I did this!

  8. I’m a teacher of kindergarteners. I’m thinking, “hmmm, maybe I’ll try this”. Lol, I may regret it or I may really have fun.

    1. You’re so brave! I would’ve never tried this with my kinders. Haha! I only survived the day because we had very specific routines and structure. It probably would be fun for a few minutes, but there’s a lot of potential for them to get out of control. If you decide to do it, come back and give me an update!

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