On our recent episode of Curious Mom Mondays, we discussed why children do not easily take “no” for an answer. myself and Hand-in-Hand Parenting Instructor Kelly van Rooyen made an important observation that we might be overusing the word, and our kids grow tired of hearing it.
It is important to set limits in the home with our kids. They need them.
There are, however, alternative ways to set limits with our kids without the need to be authoritative and repetitive.
Watch the full episode here:
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When children use the word “no” a lot, what the family might need is a ‘Yes Day’.
‘Yes Day’, the American family movie that took the world by storm in March 2021 has become a world phenomenon. ‘Yes Days’ have become fun days that families plan together, and always promise to be a thrill.
“No” is a usual word that kids hear when they make some requests. On ‘Yes Day’, nothing deserves a no, but is this practical?
A simple ‘Yes Day’ in the home
A ‘Yes Day’ can take place in the home. Your kids might want to simply play dress up in some of your clothes, play with your makeup, jump on the bed, or engage in messy play. These are the kinds of activities that are great for them, but usually inconvenient for us, and that’s where the “no” comes from.
As long as it’s not harmful to them, say ‘yes’ and see their faces light up!
Yes Day rules
To avoid landing up in jail or in the back of an ambulance like how Jennifer Garner did, it is important to set some ‘Yes Day’ rules to ensure you don’t say no, and the kids know their limits.
Set a budget
The kids can’t go to Gold Reef City, Big Bounce, and the Zoo all in one day. If you don’t set a budget with them, then you might go bankrupt. If you have more than one child, set a limit of how much each child can spend on food and treats and account after everyone spends so that they know how far they have gone and how much they have left.
The budget will depend on a family’s affordability. You can stretch it as far as you can and give your child leeway to make some fun requests
Set travel limits
Jimmy cannot request to travel 400km out of town to go see the Lion in Kruger National Park for the day. Unless the park is within a travel distance that you can manage and have agreed on and is within his budget, then there should not be any problems.
So, let the kids know that you guys can go anywhere they want, as long as it is within 50km radius, for instance. It should not suck the fun out of it too much for them but sets limits that don’t suck the fun for parents.
Yes Day cannot affect tomorrow
The requests the kids make cannot be permanent. So, no Lerato. Getting a pet lizard is not part of the deal. They can’t make any requests that will affect the future, like asking someone to move in, or asking the parents to move out.
No illegal activities
You cannot steal things, damage your or other people’s property or put your or others’ lives in danger. This might a tricky one for parents and kids because parenting instincts might kick when a child requests to climb up the tall tree at the park. The kid might feel capable of climbing it, but parents might decide that it is too risky for them to do it.
It is, therefore, important to list legal but dangerous activities that are a no-no for Yes Day.
Chances are your kids will make really bizarre requests, but as long as they are not harmful to their well-being and those around them, then yes it is.
But, what if you say no?
The point is to say yes to as much as possible, but your kids might make the craziest requests like running around the block naked. According to the rules, this is not dangerous not harmful to anyone. But your reputation is on the line and you don’t wanna trend on Twitter.
So, chances are there might be some requests that you decline, but will there be any consequences to that? And what happens if requests are evidently abused by the kids.
In conclusion, Yes Day needs proper planning. So, when you are ready to plan one, give yourselves some time to iron out all the details, and sign some make-shift contracts to ensure that everyone is in agreement.
As much as it sounds like some serious business, it promises loads of fun for families that are in it for just that.
This article was originally published on The Citizen.