Saying YES!

So often as parents, we say, “no.” We have to say “no” for safety reasons, teaching-good-manners reasons, friendship reasons and maybe medical reasons. It can be hard hearing “no” so often. It can help to experience what this feels like with a little exercise.

Sit in a comfortable chair, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Say aloud “NO!” about 5 times, sometimes sternly, sometimes in a neutral tone. Then, take note of what your body feels like, what emotions come up and what thoughts come up. Now, stay in that comfortable chair, close your eyes again and take another deep breath. Say aloud, “YES!” about 5 times, sometimes loudly, sometimes quietly and sometimes in a neutral tone. What did you notice? Which felt better? What thoughts and emotions came up with each?

In the next week or two, choose when to say “yes” and a little more carefully, when to say “no.” Also (and this is more fun), pick some times to say “yes” to things you never say “yes” to, like eating chocolate for breakfast, or eating in the living room or wearing a quirky outfit to the grocery store. Experiment with it — what happens when you allow your children to do these quirky “yes” things? Think about what happens to you, as the parent and what happens to your child. Have fun!

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