“The moment I decided to follow
instead of lead,
I discovered the joys
of becoming part
of a small child’s world.”
~ Janet Gonzalez-Mena
A friend of mine parents with a playful touch, and she does so, in part, by offering her kids a Yes Day! Read below and watch above for the details. This may inspire you to say No a little less and Yes a whole lot more!
Here are the wise words of Juliette Woods:
Today at our house was “Yes Day!” It’s a day once a year when I say Yes to everything my children ask for. (There are a few ground rules around legality, safety, cost, etc.) They get my full attention, there is always laughter and play, and extra snuggles; they have to cooperate with choosing activities; and we all become very mindful about our wording—both in what is asked for as well as my responses. I do my extra best to carefully word things positively like, “Let’s shriek like an eagle and let’s do it outside only”, instead of, “No eagle shrieks in the car”. They ponder just what to ask for—things we don’t do as often—that they really long for yet fit within the parameters set.
I feel like we don’t have enough YES in life, that beautiful YES feeling that makes possibilities come to life. We have signs and rules everywhere telling us what NOT to do, especially in childhood, at school and at home, and of course, as an adult, as well. Yes they might eat cake for breakfast or want to stay up extra late; but you know what my kids ask for the most on Yes Day? Activities where I am engaged with them. How beautiful is that?!! And it’s a perfect ‘excuse’ as a parent to give it to them, to get to keep saying YES, to have fun and witness their smiling eyes at each YES. Try it. I bet yours eyes will delight, too! 🙂
Heck, give yourself a Yes Day!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~Maya Angelou
Inspired? Well here’s another way to play along in your child’s world, an idea given to me by a mother in one of my playshops:
A play date was agreed upon in advance between her and her daughter. This excited girl sent her mom a written invitation to play in her room at a specific date and time. A sign was placed on the door asking not to be disturbed during their play date.
Once in the room the mother simply followed how her daughter wanted to play. If her daughter wanted to comb her hair, mom happily played along. If the daughter wanted to be tossed on the bed, mom went along with the playful invitation. Mom did extraordinarily well to practice The Spirit of Yes And by joyfully yes and-ing her daughter’s playful desires in what I call a Just Follow Play Date.
Imagine how much this meant to her daughter, to Juliette’s children…
For another inspiring story related to this topic of YES/playing along, please read Flour Play: What happens when your daughter drops flour on the black tiled kitchen counters and floor? Do you clean it up, or…
And here is one more story, one of a mother who took the chance to follow her daughter’s lead, let go of control and help turn a snake into a sword!
Happy Yes-ing and Following!
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Check out Vince’s book: Let the Fire Burn ~ Nurturing the Creative Spirit of Children, A Children’s Book for Adults