In the summers before we lost the girls, I made a commitment to myself and to them that I would say YES to more things. You see while I’m already a pretty “free range” mom I found myself saying NO a lot more than I wanted to once the girls entered public school. It was a lot of simple stuff too it caused a bunch of unnecessary back and forth bartering and a few regrets.
I remembering having amazing summers full of adventure, lots of smiles, laughs, doing things that may have been a little outside my comfort zone, like jumping in somewhat gross puddles like above. When I look back I don’t regret one single YES. It was perfection.
I do have some regret for the NOs. Once the school year started I went back to NO. Simple things like “No, I don’t think I should paint your nails before you go to bed because they’ll smudge” Had I taken the time it would have been the last chance I had to paint their nails. It would have just take an extra 10 minutes but in my head at the time it was bed time and painting their nails meant staying up late… looking back those 10 minutes more would have been such a blessing.
It’s not really about being permissive as a parent but rather choosing the simple things that will bring joy to your kids and family, encouraging curiosity and making sure your kids know it’s always ok to ask. Stopping to play in the rain may not be feasible on the way into the Dr but going to find puddles when you’re on your way home, totally doable! Ice cream for breakfast may not be a great idea ~ but making banana ice cream and breakfast cookies ~ doable, and your kids will look at you like a super hero! Staying up a few extra minutes to read another book, singing one more song or going out to catch the fireflies. Each of those easy YES moments are memories being made.
There’s more to saying YES than just the joy and memory aspect too! Yes is more than a word, it’s a state of being, of relating. A gateway to curiosity, growth, and resilience, according to internationally recognized educator, neuropsychiatrist, and bestselling author Dr. Dan Siegel
I challenge you to focus on the easy YES with your kids (and your spouse) all year long. When you look back those moments you decided to YES instead of NO, I promise you will cherish each of them.