Valentine’s Day was a turning point. My plan was to neither nag, fuss, nor complain for just one day. A mighty task indeed, seeing as how arguments, injuries, and crumbs, dirty socks, paper scraps, and a number of other dropped items set the tone for each and everyday. Chores must be done by all to keep this ship from sinking. And berating everyone accomplishes very little. The reality is that a parent’s reactions to the many little messy parts of the day are key. We set the tone, not the small stuff that threatens to overtake us!
Just taking one day to set aside my frustrations and to attempt to avoid all negativity made a big difference. Maybe it was the loving frenzy of card-making and valentine gifting of toys and odds and ends from one child’s room to another, but I think it was the positive mood that made all right again in our snowed-in abode.
A few other times, maybe it was a summer day or a Saturday or any other day I find myself at home with just the children, I have made it my goal to simply say “yes” on that one day.
“Can I nap in my sister’s room?” Yes.
“Can I have another cookie?” Yes.
“Will you play with me?” Yes.
I spy them in the ever-present mud puddle in the driveway. “Yes,” I sigh to myself (despite the extra laundry…)
May I encourage you to try taking one day to make it a “yes” day? Maybe it’s a birthday or a holiday, or maybe it’s just an ordinary day when everyone could use a little pick-me-up. Keep the fact that you are doing this to yourself, so that no one feels entitled to a day of constant “yes’s”, thereby allowing you to pick and choose as many green lights as you like.
And no, this is not an exercise to promote a spoiled child, rather one to promote a spirit of positivity. Think of it as a day off from having to hear yourself repeat some of the same tired phrases (although you probably do not have to nag or fuss, do you?)
When one of twenty questions of the hour comes your way, pause and give thought to simply saying “yes”. More often than not, the cost is little, while the payoff in children’s smiles will light up your day!