“Hey MOM!”… “Can I do this?” “Can we do that?” “Can we go here…wait…How about we go there?” “Can we? Can we? Can we, please?” We are seven sentences into this and I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted by these simple questions consistently asked by the sweetest little humans this world has ever known—my kids (and yours).
How can such little beings be packed with an unlimited source of energy, better yet, where on Earth can I find it? It’s incredible we just get them settled doing one thing and BOOM—they’re ready to move to the next, forcing an almost robotic, “No.” Their busyness makes my mind spin, wondering, “Do they tire—ever?” “What’s wrong with me? Something must be wrong with me!” “I just can’t keep up. Why can’t they just sit for a moment?”
Are any other moms with me?
Confession: I have found at times I have said it less because they shouldn’t be partaking in the activity, and more because I am tired and my body is begging for just a moment of rest to gather my thoughts, and sit in peace for a quick recharge.
However, seeing those cute pouty faces one too many times has forced me to push through my robotic feeling of, “No” and change things up in our house. Now those robotic, “No’s” have turned into an intentional (sometimes forced) adventurous, “Yes.”
I used to think saying, “Yes” all the time meant spoiling kids leading to entitlement and instant gratification, but in practicing it, I found that not telling our child, “No” doesn’t mean we have to spoil them or build an entitled generation, nor, does it mean we break the bank by purchasing the toy they’re begging for, or are run ragged by taking them everywhere they want to go.
What’s good for the goose is good for the gander… or maybe in this instance it’s what’s good for the gander is good for the goose.
In changing up my mom methods, I’m finding that telling them, “Yes,” is not just good for them, it’s good for me too. Yes, my body needs a break every now and again, and I take it (in small chunks), but watching their minds figure things out, explore, and problem solve is more often than not the remedy I need for reenergizing, and it gives us an opportunity to connect, keeps us moving, thinking, discovering, and enjoying life together.
What it means, is we take a forced breath to intentionally think about what they’re asking, pause, and find a way to challenge their thinking. Maybe we can’t take them to this place, or buy that thing, but what is it we can do?
Running to the store may mean pushing us into debt, which none of us needs, and only teaches unhealthy spending habits in them, BUT challenging them to find a way to make their own version of what they’re looking for with items we already have is fun, and packed full of learning that will expand their minds, and develop creativity within them which they will benefit from throughout life. Taking them to that movie, or running them to that place they want so badly to go, may be out of the question, but what can be done to bring that place to them? Does it mean building a fort in our living room, or creating an obstacle course in the backyard, or constructing cardboard cars for a make believe drive-in theater? Whatever it is, all that is needed is a little imagination, which our kids are packed full of. Their minds are amazing, and all they need is the opportunity to exercise them. Sure, it’s easier to just tell them, “No,” and sit them down in front of the device, but if we do that, what are we teaching them as we place our need for a break over their desire to interact with the world around them?
I can’t help but believe making this conscious effort to NOT tell them, “No,” and looking back 50 years down the road, we’ll be grateful to have fought the urge to just sit down and rest, and be overjoyed by the beautiful memories that were made as we told our kids “Yes.”
So now, I’m left wondering—What do you think? Are you in? Because if you are, time is short. You better grab that coffee, kick your feet up, and soak up some silence because in just a moment the questions are coming… “Hey MOM!” “Can I do this?” “Can we do that?” “Can we go here…or wait …How about we go there?” “Can we? Can we? Can we, please?” … and that, my fellow momma, is your opportunity to join in and say, “YES!”