3 reasons for a Yes Day
You need a Yes Day and here's why.
Spoiler: It's not only about your kids having fun, but learning a lot about each other ... and yourself.
The idea behind Yes Day
Author Amy Krouse Rosenthal came up with the idea of a Yes-Day during the pandemic. She wanted to turn the stressful situation into something positive.
She chose to say yes to her children more often. As individuals, we cannot conjure the world out of the world with a snap of our fingers. But we can give our kids positive attention and a break from all the Corona bullshit. Because it is an extreme mental load, even for children.
Amy didn't want to break all sensible rules of everyday life forever, and certainly didn't want to replace all no's with yes's. Instead, she decided to implement a yes day, where she agreed to her kids' craziest ideas. She started a tradition that her kids love as much as the Christmas lights and the first snow.
And she improved her family life fundamentally.
What positive effects does a Yes-Day have?
1. Your children know you hear them.
There are many areas of everyday life where we as parents quite naturally answer no. But that doesn't mean at all that the reason for this is revealed to our children:
Why can't I take the tram to the day care center Yes, it'll take us 30 minutes instead of 10, but so what?)
Why can't I lie down in the puddle?
Why shouldn't I take the ant inside?
Why don't we light sparklers in spring?
Why can't we eat waffles every day?
Such questions imply desires that children harbor. They are therefore ideal to reply to one day a year:
Yes, why not? After all, as a mom or dad, it doesn't kill me.
Speaking of killing:
It is obvious that "yes" can only be the answer to questions that do not concern children's safety or appropriate clothing for the weather. Skydiving from the roof is still prohibited, and nobody goes to daycare in a T-shirt when it snows.
But beyond that, there are many areas where we, as parents, can give in to the children's desires one day a year, so that they feel that we want to understand them and that we consider them important.
And we get to understand them better. That brings me to the second valuable point of Yes-Day:
2. You learn empathy
Even if we cry out inwardly when our children want to have breakfast for dinner or choose socks that do not match at all, the whole thing has a great learning effect: we learn empathy.
Just as it is stressful for children to force themselves into the structures established by adults, we as parents slip into our children's heads on Yes-Day. We get to know a day according to children's rules. Believe me, it will make you reconsider at least one rule or two.
And once you get used to seeing the world from your child's perspecive, there will maybe be breakfast for dinner once a week. ;)
That brings me to the next point:
3. You change bad habits
Many parent "NOs" creep in out of habit or out of laziness.
I'll give you an example from my own family life: Actually, I think it's great that I've a very creative boy who wants to paint with water-colors at least once a week. But I have to get a pad and paper each time, I have to change the water at least twice and wipe it up at least three times because my other toddler accidentally spills all the time. Oh yes, and then of course he also wants to do use water-colors, like his big brother!
Sometimes, I just say No because I'm not in the mood for chaos.
Listening to your own parenting needs is perfectly fine, above all when it comes to a tidy home. But it is helpful to keep asking yourself how difficult it is for your child to accept a no and how much effort it is for you to say yes.
Try to find compromises. Say yes when you can.
Finding compromises feels good and has a relaxing effect on family life. A compromise often requires your yes.
It's not about always saying yes. It's about making conscious decisions.
This kind of mindfulness can change many things for the better in everyday family life. Especially after 2 years of suffering from a worldwide pandemic!
I hear your brain cells ticking: Wouldn't it be good not to need such a special day in the first place, but to change fundamentally?
Perhaps. But changing everything at once is difficult. Starting with a single day brings lightness into your everyday life. It's a fun initiative to strengthens your family life bit by bit.
Isn't that exactly what we need right now?
How do you start your Yes-Day?
Sit together with the whole family on New Year's Eve and discuss how you want to realize your Yes-Day.
New Year's resolutions with the family are so much cooler and more sustainable than those that you make for yourself in secret! Depending on your and your children's wishes, you can decide which season will be best suited to implement.
You can write down all wishes in a workbook or diary so that no one will be forgotten. From my experience, it's also pretty fun to flip back through a diary and rediscover the wishes of previous years. :-)
With infants who are not yet able to plan far in advance, you can just sit down together and make a wish list a week in advance.
Alternatively, be spontaneous! When you notice on a Thursday that you still have no plans for the weekend, ask your kids for ideas, and say yes as often as you can! 😊
About the book & film
You can watch Amy Rosenthal's bestseller on Netflix or buy the book: "Yes Day!"
But the most important thing is to think about Yes Day. Try it! You might even end up introducing it once a month or every 14 days.
My special tip: Write down how you felt when you said YES. Did you feel anxious? Happy? Content? Document every yes on a piece of paper. Pulling out a piece of paper full of yes's and looking at it over and over again has the same positive effect like a mood board!
If you have any experiences that you would like to share, I look forward to hearing from you!
We're here for you! If we don't answer right away, it's because our kids have hijacked us ;)
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