I have been following the blog Play at home mom for a while now. Not only does she have a lot of fun activities for kids, but they also make you think about the way you parent. When I found out that one of their children did not know the word "No," it astounded me. That was one of Dexter's first words. Was I really saying no that much? Do I always tell him no? A lot of things it really would not make a difference if I said no or yes to so why was I saying no all the time? So a few months ago I decided it was time for a change. I too am going to be a "Yes mom".
Now when he asks me to put his pajamas on at nap time I agree too, even if it means I will have to get him re-dressed after his nap or I have one more outfit to wash. I say yes to letting him wear his Batman pajama shirt all day, because he likes the cape. I say yes to letting him pee into the woods, standing on the back porch and screaming as loud as he can. I let him pile up pillows and blankets and jump off the couch onto them. I say yes to forts before bed time, so we can hide out in them and read stories. I let him stand on chairs next to me and help cook dinner. I let him take his baths in the sink, and put too many bubbles in it.
Being a yes mom has changed a lot of the way I parent. I have let him discover more things himself, become a little bit more independent, and I have realized that life is not about always acting a certain way and the sound of my child's laughter is way more important then how he looks to strangers. Life is so short, and I want him to enjoy every minute of it. I still discipline him, he is not allowed to whine or hit, he must eat his food, and he has to use his words. But the little things I let slide, and I let him have as much fun as he wants. I have really enjoyed discovering this new side to parenting and I hope that Max does not learn the word "No" right away. I encourage other parents to give it a shot, I know that everyone does what works for them, but being a yes mom is so much more fun then being a no mom.
Recently we were at someone else's house, and there were a lot of parents there. The amount of yelling at my child was so ridiculous, every time someone spoke to him it was constantly "No don't do that," "No you can't have that," "Stop this," "Stop that," "get down," just one thing after another and it made me realize what that does to a child. He was really well behaved at their house, the fact still stands though that he is two and he has energy. So of course he is going to be a bit wild and not the best at playing with smaller kids. He is amazingly gentle with his brother, and if you help him learn how to play with a 1 year old he will get it. I ended up taking him to the side and hugging him for a few minutes and reminding him that he is a good kid and they just have a lot of rules at their house but I was proud of him for being so good. I hope it made a difference, because I know if I was just constantly being told no, it would hurt my feelings. I have never been in that situation, and I wish that I wasn't so soft spoken and I could just tell people, "Unless my kid is going to hurt your child let me parent him and you can parent your own kids." But it did reinforce my want to be a yes mom. It also made it a lot stronger. I love my kids so much and I really hope that I can learn to let him be a kid and stop over-correcting him so much. I have come a long way but there is still a long way to go.
Have you ever decided to just completely change the way you parent? Are you a yes mom or dad? What is some of your best advice for me in getting to be a better yes mom?