YES! Day.

wpid 2012 05 16 06.19.23 YES! Day.

YES! I’ll stand on my head for you.

Last month I surprised the Tornado with a day of YES.

Surprised being the operative word as I kinda surprised myself when the announcement exited my mouth.

The day before had been filled with no’s.

  • NO you cant ride your bike in the street—cars are coming!
  • NO you cant place the stool on top of the chair to reach a mug—you might fall!

NOs which were mainly about safety—yet nos none the less.

20130822 123226 YES! Day.

As I watched her come downstairs the next morning I spontaneously decided we BOTH needed a *fun* day.


“Yesterday was rough,” I said. “Lets make today a Day of Yes!”

“AWESOME!!!” She shouted and broke into a full-body smile.

“You know what that means?” I asked, surprised, as Id thought Id just created it.

“No!” She answered immediately. (I love kids. They completely vibe off us/our moods.  The mere fact *I* was excited about YES! Day filled her with glee.)

I explained to her the rules whilst simultaneously making them up.

  • Everything was a yes! as long as it was safe (May I ride my bike without a helmet? NO!).
  • Everything was a yes! as long as I could make it happen (May we see the movie Turbo right now??? No. It’s not showing right now.)

And our day began.

Mama may I watch TV while I eat? (yes)

Mama may we go to the playground right now EARLY? (yes)

It all unfolded like that.

I’m not sure what Id anticipated she’d ask for (a pony? the Barbie Dream Domicile?) but her requests were stuffs it seemed we typically do together anyway.

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YES! to basketball.

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YES! to nail painting.

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FearfulMamaYES! to tetherball.

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YES! to outdoor ukelele-like-violin playing.

YES! to opening the ‘graffiti thing’ in the gift-closet which was intended to be a gift.

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YES! graffiti art rocks!

YES! to barefoot-on-playground (with NO! added where I feared a tetanus-shot).

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I cant lie. I wore these…

YES! to RedBox & a big slice of cake after dinner.

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In the middle of YES! Day a friend asked if the Tornado wanted to see a movie.

I dont, Mama.  I only want to go over to her house and play.  Will you ask? (YES!!)

It was in that moment I realized I’d assumed YES! day was solely about fun & gratification.  I hadnt anticipated it would serve to remind her of the power of asking for what she wants.

On days other than this one the answer may be no—but if she doesnt *ask* she’s guaranteed not to receive.

It amazed this mama—when given *free* reign—what the Tornado wanted.

Sure she added a smidgen of sugar—but for the most part she simply wanted my time and permission to remove her shoes where she’s normally forced to have covered feet (ahhh 7).

Later that night, as we said our prayers,  the Tornado’s was short and simple:

Thank you G-d for my mom did not say no today—she said yes.



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    • MIZ says

      I WAS SHOCKED. I really anticipated a trip to the toy store etc :-) but all she wanted was my time and playing with her nonstop.
      I wonder if youd be surprised?

  1. says

    i think she found the power of YES to be freeing and sometimes scary, because it gives her the reigns. A good lesson in balance for mama and daughter. You are my mama mentor.

  2. MIZ says

    so so so many no’s here too.
    90% safety but at seven she doesnt get that!
    and so so many no’s here too to the husband.
    hashtag: OOPS :)
    he may need a yes day too!

  3. says

    I absolutely loved reading about your YES day when you talked about it on Facebook last month – something every parent should incorporate into their lives from time to time! Great example :)

  4. Healthy mama says

    I love this, Mizzy.
    My kids are out of school still this week and I’m making Wednesday a surprise YES! day.

  5. Runner Girl says

    I don’t have kids yet and only sort of reacently left home (moved back after college).
    I like these peeks into what motherhood will be Miz.
    Really really fun.

  6. says

    Great way to re-group when the NO gets overwhelming.

    I tried it once and my kids asked to drive to Disneyworld and go to Europe. They’re idea of YES be lofty.

  7. says

    Such a fun thing to with your kids, and yes, it is amazing what they want. With my kids it almost always about my time too. They want to snuggle, play games, get my full attention. I spent most of the summer away from my blog and giving them my full presence.. I love our summers!

  8. says

    I love this post! Tornado is so cute too! Such a sweet girl. I love your approach to parenting. When I am a mom someday, I’m totally taking tips from you :)

  9. says

    Wow, this is SO FUN to read! I love the rules you came up with to keep it safe and how liberating it would be to just say yes to everything for a day and not be so darn conscientious about everything for a day.

    Hope there were some fun YESes for you in there too!

  10. says

    I use the “Yes strategy” with my kids all the time. When they ask something for which the answer is NO, instead I say “Yes… ” and I add a condition. E.g. they want to ride their bikes at 730 pm. Instead of saying “No, it’s too late”, I say “Yes, you can tomorrow after school”. They resist less that way I have found. :-)

  11. says

    This is a great reminder to just say yes more often. So often a “no” just comes out too quick when it could really be a YES!!!
    YES to this post!!!

  12. Gary says

    Such an awesome idea! Love seeing how much you and the Tornado love each other and your adventures.

  13. says

    So great! Really! Having a toddler, I feel like I say “No” a lot. So much so it brings me down a little. All I have to do is look at E and I realize it’s time for some “yes”. So I make sure I ask him to do something that I can say yes to.

  14. says

    I’m guessing that kids learn the word “no” before the word “yes.” I’m betting they use it a lot more also!

    Great idea!!

  15. says

    I remember an eye-opening conversation with my oldest when he was very young. It was a challenging day (as most of them were back then) and after some misbehaviour and a reprimand, he tearfully asked me why I said ‘no’ so often. My response was an instant denial. He then proceeded to tell me that that wasn’t true, in fact, I’d said ‘no’ 28 times so far that day. He is gifted with numbers and accurately counted everything (at that point in his life), so I believed him (and felt sad).

    I have worked on my ‘yes’s’ ever since!

  16. cheryl says

    Power comes from getting to make choices and making good ones. We never say “no” to our preschool kiddos. If they are climbing way too high, making weapons out of legos, hitting a peer we steer them away of give them an alternative…
    “You are scaring me because you are up higher than I can reach. How about coming down and we slide on the slide together or kick a ball.”
    “Let’s make a _____ together. Which would you like to build, a barn or a fire station?”
    “You can use your words with ____. Say ________ instead. It hurts when someone hits you.”
    Word of warning: DON’T rent the pony for the next b’day party. It only gets worse and by the time she is 16 she is asking for a hall rental with alcohol served! ha.

  17. says

    We’ve done similar things. On vacation, or just in general days will be (insert child’s name)’s day. They get to choose everything we do that day. Which reminds me… They love it and it always surprises me what they choose.

  18. says

    My daughter is too young to understand or really take advantage of a ‘yes day’. However, in somewhat related news she has mastered the word ‘no’ very well. Guess she gets that from me. Maybe more yeses are in order.

  19. says

    Love the idea of YES day!!! And, the lesson learned about asking for what you want – valuable for all of us – since lots of times the only reason we don’t get something is a failure to ask!
    The night prayer with a thank you for yes day was my favorite!!!

  20. says

    When mine were little, i tried to yes as much as i could. No was for safety and health, or if we just didn’t have the money to do something.

  21. says

    I love this!! My mini-me is 10, and I think she would LOVE a yes day!! I think I’m going to try this soon. She’s finding out that 5th grade is when ish starts getting real (school work has come super easy to her all the other years). So perhaps a yes day is in order!

    And there you go flashing those cute feet again! Now you’re just showing off! #jealous :)

  22. says

    What a really amazing day for both of you. I admit that no comes out of my mouth more often than yes. I really tried to say yes a lot more while we were away. The look of surprise on my boys’ faces made me realize that we need to do it more because they don’t expect me to say yes.

  23. says

    I love this idea – you are so perceptive to realize the impact of YES! on your sweet daughter. I think this is something that can impact both adults & kids, I wonder what would happen if I turned one day into a Yes! day with my hubby. :)

  24. says

    Awwwwwww! I love how illustrative this is of determining what we really WANT from life – I feel like you can almost SEE how happy one is by the types of things they ask for on a YES! day.

    And I also love how infectious enthusiasm is :D

  25. says

    I love this. As parents (and human beings) we are often heard saying no way too often! I bet both you and the Tornado had a day that was not only fun but freeing in a unique way.

    It’s so good to see so much love and positivity (a word?)!

  26. says

    We had a Yes Day over the summer and the kids LOVED it. LOVED. I gave them a few days warning so they could think of some things and we had pretty much the same rule with the warning that we probably wouldn’t be able to do everything they wanted. I need to do this more often and I love that you surprised her with it.

  27. says

    Great idea for having a yes day. Too often do parents just say no to everything their kids ask for, eventually leading them to never asking for anything because they automatically assume the answer will be a no.

  28. says

    I remember you posting a little on FB about this and I just think it’s awesome. I wish my mom had taken a little more time for things like this and it’s a FANTASTIC reminder for me to do it now!! In fact I bet it would even make for a fun weekend with David.