I don’t consider myself to be a very strict mama. Consistent? Yes. But strict? Not really… I try to let my kids do lots of kid stuff. I recognize that they see the world entirely differently than I do, so sometimes that means beans for breakfast or cereal for dinner. Sometimes that means letting them spin in circles while loudly singing made up songs for 20+ minutes and other times it simply means letting them wear clothing that could not even remotely be considered a “matching” outfit. That’s just how our house works. Other people’s families do things differently, and that’s great. This is just what works for us.
But still, among all the craziness I allow my kids to do (and wear), and all the things that might make another mom cringe, that I allow, I still find myself saying no entirely too much.
photo credit Temych / dollar photo club
I’m not talking about the days when I tell my kid “no, you can’t have candy for breakfast” or “no, you may not climb on the bookshelf, that’s not safe”. Obviously, no is a word that is going to be used a lot in the home of two small toddlers. What I’m referring to is the times when my kid asks for something innocent at a slightly inconvenient time and I promptly shut them down without even thinking about it.
Like the day when we pulled into our apartment complex and my son asked for his window to be rolled down. We still had a minute or two of driving before we reached our home, and yet I immediately said “no” without even considering it. What’s so wrong about rolling his window down for two minutes? It would be a minor inconvenience to push the “down” button slightly to my left for a grand total of ten seconds now, and then ten more seconds in a few minutes when we pulled up to our house. Why did that need to be a “no”? The truth is, it didn’t.
Sometimes I catch myself, and I take back my hasty “no” and respond with a “yes” or a “sure, why not”. Sometimes I pause for the 16 seconds it requires to take a peek at the world through the lens of a 2 year old. A little guy who just wants to feel the wind on his face, and feel like a big-boy because he can reach his fingers our the window when it’s down. Sometimes I need to remember that there are a thousand good reasons that I must tell my boy “no” everyday, so I don’t need to seize the opportunity when it’s not necessary. In fact, I need to search for the chances to tell him “yes”, and give him that little bit of pleasure as he feels the wind on his face and touches the sky with his finger tips.
Sometimes I need to stop being annoyed by his constant questions, and just say “yes” whenever I can. Because we all know those chances aren’t always as prevalent as the chance to say “no”.
Here’s to looking for the chance to be a “yes” mom. and refraining from saying no “just because we can”.
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