When I was 9 years old, I begged my parents for a cat. For months, I talked on and on about how I would help take care of it, how fun it would be to play with, and how the entire family would fall in love with a cuddly kitty. Eventually, my dad caved.
I will never forget the giddy ride to the pet store after him saying yes.
We took my sister who was equally excited. We found a precious black-and-white kitty to bring home. We named her Oreo. It was a sweet day.
Now that I’m a parent and the one who is receiving the questions instead of asking them, I love telling my kids yes. In fact, one of my favorite things about summer is that I have more opportunities to say yes to my kids. A more relaxed schedule, fewer extracurricular activities, and no homework means more time for fun and spontaneity.
Saying yes a lot
It thrills me to say, “Yes, we can go to the pool,” or “Yes, you can have a friend over.” “Yes, you can play in the backyard a little later than usual tonight.” “Donuts? Yes, let’s go get them for breakfast!”
Our kids love it when we say yes. Not only does it mean we grant their desire, but they also feel heard and like their opinion counts.
Saying yes more often also helps our noes really mean something. When we save our noes for things that really matter, our kids will have more respect for our boundaries.
Now I’m not advocating for becoming a doormat or saying yes when the request is harmful for our kids. God has entrusted our kids to us, so we must steward that privilege well. I’m simply inviting you to choose to say yes when the request is reasonable and possible.
Sometimes I’m lazy!
Unfortunately, I am guilty of issuing a “no” sometimes simply because of laziness. I say we can’t go to the park some days when we really could. I just don’t feel like helping find shoes, reminding everyone to go potty before we leave, corralling them in the car, and then sweating in the summer heat. Even though I know it would delight them, I let my own selfishness get in the way.
Or, I say they can’t have one more story simply because I’m tired. Moving forward, I want to receive these requests from my kids as opportunities for connection, richness, and memory making.
I still love receiving a “yes” now, especially when it’s from my Heavenly Father! And don’t you think He delights in being able to say yes to our requests in the same way we love making our children smile? I’m thankful God never feels too lazy to delight in me.
Matthew 7:11 tells us “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
Give your kids the gift of more yeses this summer.
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