29 June 2012
Being a 'yes' mummy
I actually wrote this post 2 months ago, but for some reason I stuck it in the 'drafts' folder. This evening I read a post written by Kate at Wit Wit Woo and felt prompted to go back to mine. So this is a declaration to try harder. A promise to my kids, that somehow once put into print is harder to go back on. So here goes.....
I probably use the word 'no' more times in a day than I care to mention. If you were a fly on the wall in our house, you would regularly hear conversations like this:
DS1: "Can we go to the park after school Mummy?"
Me: "No not today, it looks like rain and I've got to get the dinner on"
DD1 "Can we make pancakes for breakfast?"
Me: "No not today, the cereal is laid out and I'm not sure if we've got the ingredients anyway "
DD2 "Can we have a bible story tonight before bed?"
Me: "Not tonight sweetheart, I'm tired, I think we'll just say a quick prayer"
Most of the time I don't even give the notion a second thought. The word 'no' just trips off the tongue so readily. What's really going on in my head? Usually it's one of three things:
a) the thought of the big mess involved and that I know who will be clearing it up
b) I am tired, it's been a long day and the sofa/chilled glass of wine is calling me
c) this wasn't what I had planned (I am not good with spontaneity, it just goes against my natural instinct!)
They say our children learn from their parents - DD2's first word was 'NO' for goodness sake!
I slowly came to the realisation that our negative response as parents, can actually have a detrimental affect on our child's behaviour. It makes perfect sense that the words they hear or the attitude they are continually exposed to, will eventually have a knock on effect. Obviously there are occasions when a 'yes' would not be appropriate eg your 3 year old asks to walk to the shop on her own or it's snowing and your son comes down in shorts and a t-shirt (although I know a Mum who has been known to go to these lengths when she is just plain fed up of arguing with her 3 year old!). However what about stopping before we revert to that default answer of 'no' and considering an alternative response? If asked "can we stay up a bit late to watch a film together?" or "can we stay in our pyjamas all day today?" Stop and ask yourself - why not?
I know it's a well-worn cliche, but Life really is too short. Would we rather our children remembered us for the times we quashed their fanciful ideas, or the times we managed to find our often too well-hidden fun side and let our hair down? I don't know about you but I'm going to try to stop and think before I say 'No' . It's never too late to start living.....
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