I was among other young moms, when a mom of teenagers was asked a question about letting her daughter have a cell phone. Tracy replied, "We give out so many 'no's in our day, we have to look for ways to give a 'yes.'"
That was her way of saying, "Yes, my daughter does have a cell phone." Tracy is a very involved, pro-active, attentive mom who desires the very best for her kids. As a family, they have set boundaries.
Those boundaries create space for us as parents and our kids to have the freedom to move about with independence and structure. These boundaries instill confidence in our kids allowing them to know we think they've got what it takes. With trust and responsibility, these boundaries can increase. That's my way of saying, "More 'yeses'!"
I have taken that parenting wisdom and use it almost daily.
I say 'no' often.
Umm...maybe all the time, in some form or fashion.
No more snacks.
Stop hitting your brother.
No, you can't have that!
To what will I say 'yes?'
Yes, you may eat that cake pop before your lunch.
[like it always ruins that nutritious meal!?]
Sure, you can color your hair. Any color. Any way.
[did I really just make that my 'yes?']
Yep. I did.
Fight all you want. I'll even carry the wounded.
[Boys aspiring to be Navy SEALS. Those moms had to say 'yes,' didn't they?]
To be honest, I didn't say 'no' or 'yes.'
I just smiled.
It's in this moment of letting them wear what they've picked out, that my 'yes' gives confidence. They leave home happy.
They walk to the grocery store knowing they are loved.
They greet others on the sidewalk because they are not concerned about themselves, but others. Why? They settled their issue inside. Now they focus on others.
Plus, it's San Francisco. It's easy to give them this 'yes' here!