Stop Telling Your Kids No…For Just a Day

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What kill-joys we can be as parents, right?

So many rules.

Don’t do that, do this.

No, you cannot have ice cream in bed. It’s 6am.

No, do not pull your sister’s hair!

Get the dog’s tail out of your mouth.

Sometimes I’m tired of saying no. I irritate myself with how much I nag day-in, day-out.

But seriously, why? Why does everything go right into his mouth!?

Why does the iPad need to come with us into the grocery store?

Every once in a while, I like to have a no-no day. I know what you’re thinking, “this is going to get out of hand really quickly”.

But as you know, I like to plan ahead. Because you’re right, a no-no could easily backfire on me.

I always tell my kids on our no-no day that I’m going to do my best to say yes to everything. Within reason, if it isn’t dangerous and it doesn’t cost more money than we can spend, it’s a yes!

If I let it be a free for all day, I’ll quickly become a liar.

The first thing out of my daughter’s mouth would be

“Let’s go to Hawaii!”

“Well, um, no we can’t.”

“But you said! Can we go to Disneyland then?”

“No, that costs a little too much money for today.”

“So, this is just a regular no day?” Picture my daughter’s annoyed look at this point.

So, I plan. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast! I know they’ll ask for chocolate milk so right away I’m the hero for saying yes…

Then we’re going to the park! “Can we ride our bikes.” Already thought of that… My 2nd yes. I’m on a roll with these kids!

My goal is to plan my day around things that I know we can do. I think about the events or outings and all the requests that will be made within them. If I’ll be able to say yes to what I know the little ones will ask, it goes in the plan.

If it’s a budgeted day, I pack the snacks I know they’ll ask for. I don’t want to spend a ton of money on a budgeted day. I try to avoid places with a lot of “vendors”.

Feeding the ducks at the pond, going to the park (bring dollar bills for that sneaky ice cream man…), fishing, are all budget friendly activities where there won’t be too many things to say no to.

Unless you’re me, then you’ll have to tell your 2-year-old not to eat fish bait or touch the duck poop around the lake…

Things like a family game day at the arcade or trampoline park could be great! It limits the things the kids request but still gives them a free play day.

Whatever your day entails, think a few steps ahead. We can all anticipate what our kids are going to ask for at every place we go. We can plan to create diversions or plan the day in advance to give ourselves time to set aside extra money.

In the parenting world, days are filled with no-you-can’ts. A day of no nos, just Yes! sounds fabulous and could go a long way in boosting those little spirits and renewing good behavior and attitudes.

If your no-no day goes well, use another one as a bargaining chip!

“We can have more of these days if you keep up the good grades” or

“if you stop throwing tantrums when things don’t go your way” or

“if you stop telling your brother he was raised by monkeys until he was 3”.

You’ll be surprised at how much fun the no-no day turns out for you, not just for your kids.

Happy Yes-ing!

Come back and leave a comment telling us how your day went! I’d love to hear what you planned for the day!