When to say yes and when to say no

If you’re new to Yes Parenting, it can be quite challenging to know when to say Yes and when to say No. If you’re a member of Discovering Yes (my free Facebook group) you’re likely already familiar with my posts that aim to help you begin to integrate the process of finding a Yes for everybody. Remember, when we talk about finding a Yes, we’re not looking for a Yes solely for our kids – we’re looking for a Yes for us as well.

When it comes to finding a Yes for everyone, we begin by looking at needs. Then it’s a Yes to interests and preferences and finally it’s a Yes to desires.

When you’re looking for a Yes, this is always the starting place: Yes to needs. Yes to interests and preferences. Yes to desires. Although within this framework there will be natural limits that will prevent a direct Yes from us at times.

For example, let’s consider the question, “Can we go to the zoo today? You know, Mum, the zoo that we visited while we were on holiday?”

Well, if the zoo we went to on holiday is 150 miles away then, no, we can’t go today. Or maybe the zoo we went to on holiday is only 15 miles away but costs £20 per person and we don’t have that money available today.

Although we can’t give a direct Yes in either of these scenarios, we can say Yes to the desire within the request. We can explain that the zoo is too far away for us to go to today and offer a visit to the city farm instead. Or we can explain that we don’t have the money for the zoo today, but offer instead to create a zoo in the garden and spend the next hour or two playing zoos, with each of us taking turns being different animals, zookeepers and visitors.

Finding these creative and playful alternatives is the first step to finding a Yes when there’s a natural limit in place. Just remember to make sure that the Yes you find is a Yes to you as well as to your kids.

Practically, this means that you, as parent, take responsibility for meeting your own needs before you think about anything else in your life. This might mean you need to start getting up earlier or it might mean you need to spend some time planning meals. It could mean you need to buy a water bottle so that you can have a plentiful supply of water with you at all times. It might mean that you intentionally make time to go out and exercise. It also might mean that you consistently stay in touch with key friends so that your need for connection is being met.

You are responsible for your own needs AND you are responsible for your children’s needs. As your children grow, they will begin to take more and more responsibility for meeting their own needs but throughout the process of childhood, it is imperative that you find your Yes first. As your children are ready, able and wanting to, you’ll begin slowly handing over that responsibility to them.

I hope this has helped you be able to understand a bit more about Yes Parenting and when to say Yes and when to say No. If you’re not already a member of Discovering Yes, I’d encourage you to join and to follow my posts and videos that are uniquely designed to help you integrate Yes Parenting into your family.

If you’d like more information on how I can personally support you on your Yes Parenting journey, please click here.