We were playing a version of the $20,000 Pyramid’s Winner’s Circle recently with some tween-aged girls at the After School Writing Club I lead with BreckCreate. The category was, “Things Parents Say.”
The first thing the clue-giver said was, “No!”
Is that what parents are known for? The nay-sayer, the joy-kill, the hammer. We all laughed, but it kind-of made me sad!
I could barely hold in my delight, though, when one of the girls later asked Jadyn, “So, do your parents say, “no,” or “not right now.” Without skipping a beat, she said matter-of-factly, “My parents say, “Yes.”
We do say, “yes”! We have always tried to say, “yes” as much as we could in their lives. If they had an idea, a desire, or request – if there was really no reason to say, “no,” we said, “yes.”
I think that’s the best gift we can give our kids and ourselves. Say yes to the good and simple things. Popsicles, movie nights, meal requests, homemade popcorn, walks in the woods, playdates with friends, dinner out, playing a board/video game, boba tea. And try to say yes as much as you can to the big things, too – family vacations, skiing trips, Six Flags days, art classes, music concerts, summer camps, internships, private coaching, or private school. If time or money is limited, still say yes, but involve your kids in figuring out how to make it happen. There’s always a way.
When we say, “no,” we quickly limit our options, our creativity, our opportunities. We shut down those things for our kids as well.
Sometimes parents may be worried about spoiling their kids if they say, “yes” too much. But in my experience I’ve seen the opposite. I grew up with parents who also said “yes,” and I’m forever grateful. I’ve seen our kids take more ownership of the pros/cons of a decision if we are the ones who say, “Sure!” They have to weigh their own resources in time, energy, and money and start to learn the wisdom of trade-off’s that are just a reality of life.
Say, “Yes” to those good things for yourself, too-
listening or dancing to music
exciting business endeavors
trips to special places with those you love
meeting new people you think you’ll resonate with in business and life.
If you say enough “yeses” to those good things, you won’t have time to wonder about those other things you should have said “no” to anyway. You’ll be too busy creating and enjoying a special life for yourself and your kids.