I am not the best mom. I struggle with being patient, long-suffering, and basically all the things that make a parent a good one.
A while back, I received some advice from a good friend, who had received the advice from another mom.
It was simple:
Just say yes.
Unless there is a really really good reason to say no, say yes to your children. Even if you're first inclination is to say no, because you're tired or not interested in dealing with whatever the request, try saying yes instead.
It sounds much easier than it actually is. It doesn't mean you should to be a permissive parent. Saying yes to cookies instead of dinner is not what we're talking about. Saying yes to reading another book, or going to the park is more or less the idea.
This afternoon was just a regular summer day. I wanted the kids outside; they wanted to be in. But I'm the boss, so I'll decide.
Their only request was to use the hose.
Well, the hose makes the lawn wet. It makes for dirty drippy feet, and sopping wet swim suits and sticky sun screen. More than anything it would require my supervision. I just really did not want to deal with it.
However the reality was saying no would have meant an afternoon of discontent by all. The kids would complain, and I would yell. It would be a game of in and out and in and out. Not my idea of fun.
So, I stopped, took a breath, and instead of saying no, I said, "Get the swimsuits."
The result was a golden afternoon. Hours of running and playing and laughing replaced what would have been a grumpy day. I didn't get the laundry sorted, like I wanted. Instead, I got to reread Twilight in the shade by the house. Only once did the hose go astray (thanks to a two-year-old boy) to spray me.
I do not always practice what I preach. Sometimes I say no when I should say yes out of pure laziness or other personal reasons. I can say that when I am on my game, and I am saying yes as much as I can, everyone (and that includes me) is indeed happier.
Why not give it a whirl?
Morgan writes how-tos for real people at www.thedietcokediet.com and about her three cute kiddos, husband, dog and life in general at www.ingfamily.blogspot.com.
*Photo from medicblog999.wordpress.com/.../