Why a “Yes Day” works for your kids
For my daughter’s 5th birthday, I gave her the gift of a “Yes Day”… and despite all my apprehensions, it worked out even better than I had expected! Here’s why a “Yes Day” will work for your kids.
What’s a Yes Day?
I came across this concept via my Facebook feed last year. A blog post about a Mother’s hesitation – and then embrace – of the concept of a “Yes Day”. A day where you say yes to anything your kid(s) ask for. Sounds scary, right? I initially thought about it and pictured glitter bombs and paint on every inch of the house, irreparable damage to things and kids full of sugar. But that’s not how it worked out… AT ALL!
Here is the blog post I read about initially. Google the term and you can find all sorts about it! I’m sharing my personal experience with the concept.
Trust me – I am not the type of “super-mom” who makes parenting seem easy. It feels like a struggle every day – 2 kids at home, one at university, both me and my husband work full time. When I’m running the household I feel like I’m pre-programmed to say no. But after I read the Yes Day concept, I thought about recent reasons I had said no to my daughter and realized that they’re never really a big deal. Usually, I’m saying “no, I can’t play with you right now because I’m doing housework”. Is that REALLY something I can’t postpone? Will the world stop if I don’t start the dishwasher and wipe the counters? I also say no when she wants to do something messy because – again – I don’t want extra mess to clean up. I have enough chores to do without it. But… seriously… does it matter if she paints her silly little Shopkins toys and gets paint on an old dishtowel?
So even though the idea of it – at first – caused my anxiety to skyrocket, I decided to go for it. I mean, I can get through anything that’s just for ONE day, right? I thought the day would be filled with shopping sprees in the toy store, eating cake for breakfast and making one giant mess to clean up the next day.
I could not have been more wrong.
Obviously a Yes Day needs rules – some kind of restrictions. Here are the rules I agreed on with my daughter – she helped me decide on them so she was more attached to the concept:
- Travelling is restricted to 30 minutes away from our house.
- Spending is limited to $100 total for the day (set whatever you feel comfortable with).
- Activities cannot cause harm or damage to people or things (she’s 5 so it’s okay to be vague with this one!)
- Start time is 9 am and end time is 5 pm.
- Healthy food must be eaten in between treats; my daughter has a sweet tooth so I packed up healthy snacks to have on hand in between the inevitable sugar overload
The Yes Day
It was my daughter’s 5th birthday and she was super excited. She had been talking about the yes day for weeks! She’s in Junior Kindergarten and this was her first “school day” when she didn’t have to go to school. I took the day off work and was only looking at my phone to take pictures. With the entire world (or at least a 30 minute radius from home) at her command, here’s how my darling girl decided to spend her day:
- Painting Shopkins with Mommy (cost: $0)
- Trying out watercolours with Mommy (cost: $0)
- Watching some YouTube videos with Mommy (cost: $0)
- Playing a couple computer games with Mommy (cost: $0)
- Helping Mommy make Spaghetti and garlic bread (cost: $0)
- Going to the local Butterfly Conservatory to hold bugs (cost: $20)
- Eating a popsicle (cost: $2)
- Going to the store to find some Easter craft supplies (cost: $20)
And that’s it. THAT’S what I had been anxious about. She didn’t want to eat sweets all day. She didn’t want to paint on walls and draw mustaches on my face with permanent marker. She legitimately just wanted to me spend time with her doing things that interested her.
So why was I so afraid to give her this day? As parents we tend to fear/prepare for the worst. Our child walks out of our sight and our minds panic, thinking someone might kidnap them. Our child holds up a marker and we assume they’re planning to deviously write on a surface they’re not supposed to. The kiddos get out of bed at bedtime and we assume they’re purposely disobeying when really they just need to go pee.
Maybe we just need to loosen up our reins and spend time enjoying the beautiful world our kids live in.
About the author: I’m not a parenting guru. I’m a regular person with a family and a full time job and a blog about my passion for knitting and crocheting. But sometimes I come across something online that I feel is worth sharing my own experience about. That’s what my Life category is about on the blog. Most of it is about parenting as my world literally revolves around my sweet babies and my home is my (messy) happy place. Maybe you can identify with some of my sentiments. If you do – feel free to share this.