Have you seen the movie “Yes Day”? Well, we haven’t, but our children heard about it and they just couldn’t wait to orchestrate a Yes Day in our household. If you’re tired of buying a basket full of conversation hearts and chocolates every year for your child’s Valentine’s Day gift, consider making this Valentine’s Day a Yes Day in your home for a change of pace.
Not sure how to agree to a Yes Day without ending up skydiving or with freshly painted neon green walls? Here’s how we have (mostly) seamless Yes Days in our household, days that the entire Pepper family enjoy and will remember for years to come.
What is Yes Day?
Every family has a different dynamic, so you can make Yes Day unique to your household. In the Pepper family, when Yes Day is declared, the adults in the household must say “Yes!” to any request the children make before bedtime.
Our little one may ask for the entire family to get ice cream or head to a local park or eat cereal for dinner. Not only do us parents need to be open to saying yes, the other siblings must also go along with the plan and be willing to abide to anyone’s requests.
What are the rules?
You can obviously see how Yes Day could easily get out of control and may result in injuries, upset bellies from too much indulgence, or damage to the house. That’s why it’s important to include some disclaimers and rules with this Valentine’s Day gift. In the Pepper family, we set the following rules on Yes Day:
Nothing expensive Our kids can’t ask for a Lego set or any other big-ticket item. While material asks aren’t off-limits, we try to encourage them to ask for activities or experiences instead. However, there’s also a limit with this. For example, they can ask for a trip to the science center but not a trip to Disney World.
Nothing dangerous or unsafe This is usually the rule that is met with the most groans. It means no jumping off cliffs, but jumping off a swing is ok. While we always have our KEEP>GOING First Aid Kit with us and ready for anything, we try to stay away from very dangerous asks anyway.
Let’s get outside When the weather is nice, we’ll sometimes make it a rule that whatever they request to do must be outside. They can ask to play hide-and-seek, eat snacks together on the porch, or go on a family bike ride.
You can add or subtract rules as you see fit for your own Yes Day. Just be sure you have firm guidelines in place so chaos doesn’t ensue in the first hour!
What did we learn?
Yes Day (which we now host on many Fridays) taught us just how many times we say no to our kids on a normal day. We consider our children’s requests more thoughtfully, even when it’s not Yes Day. If what they’re asking won’t harm them or cost us money, we’re more likely to say yes now. Can I have a warm milk before bed? Yes! Can I have a sticker from your KEEP>GOING compact First Aid Kit? Yes! Can you read one more bedtime story? Yes!
Now that we have Kids Day, sometimes, we’ll plan a Yes Day for the adults. On this reverse Yes Day, the children must be open to anything we request. They must say yes to organizing their rooms or to going on a family walk around the neighborhood.
This new perspective has reduced the number of conflicts and bad attitudes, making for a generally happier home environment. If a request is a bit extravagant, we can easily tell our little ones to save it for the next Yes Day, giving them something to look forward to.
Enjoy your Yes Day (within limits) and see how it can positively change your own family dynamic!
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