Guest Blogger: Melanie Nichols
This March, we are sharing a special series of blog posts from Melanie Nichols. This series was originally posted in February 2021. You can find Melanie and her blog here. If you would like to submit to our blog, please email us.
“Don’t jump on the couch.”
“No more talking.”
These are common phrases we might find ourselves saying to our kids. Given the specific situation, they might well be reasonable requests that help maintain order and safety in our homes and classrooms. Our kids, though hear only No, No, No.
“You can’t go outside; it’s too cold.”
“No, I can’t join you. I have work to do.”
“We aren’t doing that activity; it’s too messy.”
Sometimes it is cold. There is always work to do. Certain activities can be messy. These are all valid reasons to consider denying a request. But still, our kids spend all day hearing No, No, No.
What if, instead, we made an effort to say Yes?
- Yes, you can jump, on the trampoline.
- Yes, you can run, when we go outside.
- Yes, you can talk, as soon as your work is done.
- Yes, we can go outside. Let’s get our coats and gloves on.
- Yes, I would love to play. I need 20 minutes to work first
- Yes, we can do that activity. It’s messy, so let’s get a drop cloth.
There will absolutely be times when we can not say yes to our children. Some situations or requests involve their safety, our integrity, or other values that cannot be compromised. This makes it all the more important to say Yes when we can. It may require additional effort or little creative thinking, but by saying Yes whenever we can, we establish a foundation of positive communication and a good relationship to build on. That way, when we need to say no, our children are far more likely to listen.