|Consider holding a yes day or even a yes
moment on the spot if there is nowhere you really have to be. Then
you can pay attention to the quality of each experience as it
Sovereignty for a child means gaining
autonomy - a lifelong goal for anyone. Children deserve to live in
a world in which their ideas and desires are not seen as
"childish," but are taken seriously. Like all people,
children are entitled to be loved and to find strength in that
Yes days can give children the space and
time they need to develop fully. When we consciously choose to
listen to our children, we gain the opportunity to stay connected
with them. If our child imagines that a mouse lives in every clock
turning the hands, we can consider it an opportunity to gain
insight into her exploration of the world, rather than always
correcting her observation. This can be difficult if we are in the
habit of "seizing the teachable moment."
Free yourself from "have-to's"
Home is a haven, one in which we can be
sheltered from the barrage of outside stimuli. If at all
practical, give yourself permission to be free from your schedule
every now and then. Follow your child's lead, and spend the
afternoon curled up in bed reading books. Cancel your meeting and
spend some one-on-one time sipping cocoa in your pajamas. Remember
that the world we are creating for our children will directly
affect the world they will create as they grow into adulthood.
Being pulled away from something a child deems important is a
direct instruction that teaches him to run his own agenda on
others as he grows up.
You can't please everyone all the time
If you are a parent of siblings, surely you
know that the adage "you can't please everyone all of the
time" rings true. Consider what my friend and her husband do
every year. While juggling the schedules of their two children,
they plan what their family calls "yes trips." These
trips offer one-on-one time with mom or dad, without a sibling to
compete with. They spend the specified date doing only what the
child wants to do: going to the beach, stopping for a hike or at a
lookout on the way, eating when and where their child wants to.
My friend says, "These 'yes days' have
been a reminder that even though we are a unit, we are all
individuals. We need to take the time to work on each individual
relationship, because the pieces add up to more than the
Consider the ripples
Saying yes and affirming our children as
human beings is a gift to everyone involved. So go ahead, say yes
to your kids. As we learn to say yes to each other and to the ebb
and flow of the world, yes days are in fact training for us to
live yes lives. And perhaps our yes lives will inspire our
children to create a yes world.