Saying yes to our children builds our relationships and develops mutual trust and respect. It lets our children know, that we trust that they know what they need and, by positively engaging with them, we show our support for their learning journey.
Conversely, if we are constantly attempting to redirect them to what we think is important we devalue their ability to trust themselves. We might not be able to say yes all the time but we can say yes often and be creative with our problem solving skills as we consider how to make the answer ‘yes’.
For example, we might not be able to go for a bike ride right now but we can go when daddy gets home from work. There isn’t room to play that game on this table but we can play in the other room. Your friend isn’t available for a virtual play date at this time but I can set an alarm to remind us later. We don’t have that item in the house right now but I can put it on the shopping list/we can pop out and get it.
If we are really dedicated to supporting our children and valuing their choices then ‘Yes’ is inevitably our answer. And when we have a reason to say ‘no’ we should be able to explain our reasoning to our children. It becomes part of the process of trusting each other. They are able to see and understand genuine situations where ‘no’ is necessary and witness how we evaluate and analyze each new request.
We enable and equip them with information and skills that they need to be able to make decisions and give them plenty of opportunities to make their own decisions within a safe and supported environment. They develop the skills they need to be able to think for themselves and make better choices.
Listening to our children say ‘no’
Why we should trust our children
What if I trusted my child?
Trusting our children