The premise of a Yes Day is that your child gets to decide what you do together – and you say “yes”. It’s that simple. Give your child the control to plan some one-on-one or family time, and you will be surprised with the results.
My daughter is now ten, and two or three times a year we celebrate Yes Day, where she gets to plan our day without any input or refusal from me.
Our days are jam-packed, full of school and after-school activities, play dates and family events. Just general busy-ness which sees me saying (okay, probably screeching at her) to “hurry up” and “let’s go!”, or lamenting the fact that she hasn’t brushed her teeth/cleaned her face/got up/gone to bed as quickly as I would like. There isn’t much time for doing things the way that she might like to do them.
While it’s not always feasible to hand control over to a child when you’re trying to get out the door for school or work, we could afford them that luxury more than we do.
It’s not that I never say “yes”, but honestly my default answer, particularly on those busy days, has become “gimme a second” or “let me think about it”. Or often an outright “no” because it just doesn’t fit in with the already-overpacked schedule I’m running in my head.
What harm could saying “yes” do? Absolutely none. But in the depths of busy parenting, it can be hard to remember that.
Yes Days have helped me to loosen the reins (a bit…) because they have given me a chance to see how my witty and kind daughter has her own style, her own way of doing things, her own method for evaluating her options, and most importantly her own values. And I am always bowled over by the person she is becoming – she’s pretty amazing!
A Yes Day isn’t about giving in to your child’s every whim, and it’s absolutely not about buying goodwill. In fact, it’s a chance to see what your child holds dear to them, and gives them both responsibility and respect.