A ‘Yes Day’ is exactly what it sounds like… a day where you say yes to everything your little one asks for (within reason, of course).
The concept comes from a book by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, but was recently popularised by celeb mum-of-three, Jennifer Garner, who revealed on social media that she’d just celebrated a yes day with her children.
The actress decided to go a full day without saying the word ‘no’ to her kids, and by the end of it, with all the requests from her children, she was utterly exhausted.
Now, this parenting malarkey is a tough job and sometimes you need to protect yourself with a firm but fair no – especially if it involves the safety of them, a sibling or the family pet. Keeping all offspring alive and in one piece is, after all, a parenting bonus.
But, if you fancy giving the kids a surprise and letting loose for a day, here’s how to go about throwing a ‘Yes Day’ of your own…
Would you say yes to jumping on the bed?
What is a ‘Yes Day’?
If you’ve found yourself in the role of family bad guy, crushing young dreams with a single word (Can we eat in front of the TV? Can we have ice cream for dinner? No and no!) more and more often, it may be that a ‘Yes Day’ is in order.
With just a few simple rules and injection of enthusiasm, you can let your little ones decide what happens for a day – and we bet you’ll be surprised at the results.
It’s important to keep this as a very special and sporadic occasion, like once a year or every six months. One easy way to do it is to pick a day, maybe even call it an un-birthday, when your kids could use a treat, like the last Saturday before school starts after a break.
Be sure to pick the day a little in advance so you can mark a day off on the calendar, prep any food, or make any necessary plans. Plus, the anticipation is half the fun!
What are the rules of ‘Yes Day’?
The whole point of ‘Yes Day’ is that there are no rules! But we do suggest you sit down with your little ones and lay out a few basic boundaries so that they know their limits.
1. Nothing above £5 2. It has to involve their siblings 3. It can’t be further than 5 miles from the house
You don’t want to impose too many rules, as that defeats the essence of ‘Yes Day’, but financial, geographical and safety boundaries do need setting for obvious reasons.
We’ll admit that saying yes to everything your kids ask for does sound terrifying. But a day of saying yes can be fun for parents, too, and kids are usually very happy to comply and work within set boundaries.
If there comes a point where your kid has asked to, say, draw on the wall, this is a perfect opportunity to open a discussion with them.
To reason and take time explaining your logic as to a better solution, such as covering the wall in butchers paper and letting them go for it, but it means they can do it again and again with fresh paper.
What kind of things can we do on ‘Yes Day’?
The world is their oyster – within the set boundaries – but so that they’re not overwhelmed, spend some time with your kids chatting through some options first.
Take the time to ask leading leading questions in the days before ‘Yes Day’. Questions like: ‘So, if on ‘Yes Day’, you asked me if you could have ice cream for dinner, what would I have to say?’
Chances are pretty high that your kids will shout out ‘YES!’ and then actually ask for ice cream for dinner.
It’s also surprising and refreshing to discover what kids really want on any given day; it’s usually something as simple as your attention, or a pillow fight, to use your lipstick or just a few extra books at bedtime.
Why should you have a ‘Yes Day’?
Saying yes to your kids puts you on the same team.
One special day where you don’t have to say ‘no’ what feels like a thousand times means there will be more time for spending fun time together, and an overall sense of closeness.
Trusting your kids with the freedom of a ‘yes’ empowers them to decide what’s really important to them. In this instance more often the not the simple pleasures – like two books before bed – end up overruling the insane requests.
If you don’t feel confident enough to commit to a whole day, just do an hour.
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Or similarly, if you have a big brood and saying yes to six different requests is too much then take one child out and give them a ‘Yes shopping trip’ with the budget/rules in place.
After all, everyone deserves to hear the word ‘yes’ once in a while.
What do you think? Will you be giving your little ones a ‘Yes Day’? Or have you already done one? Let us know all about it in the comments box below.