Before you say, "No!", hear me out. Yes Day is a family (made-up) holiday that can bring a lot of laughter and fun experiences to your home.
My children (10, 7, and 5) might even that say “Yes Day” is one of their favorite days of the year. Four years ago when we started the celebration, we thought that Mardi Gras, the day before Lent begins, would be the perfect time to splurge and give in to all the requests of our children. Of course, there are ground rules that we set (and add to) every year, but they love to see the possibilities that come from the power of Yes.
Willing to give it a go? Consider reading the picture book Yes Day and begin brainstorming what would be in your Yes Day.
5 Reasons to Try a Yes Day with Your Children
1. Do you remember the feeling of childhood and lack of opportunity to make your own decisions? Much of the day is dictated to you. Getting up at a certain time, running errands, chores, homework, bath schedules. Yes Day gives your children the chance to see what it's like to make the decisions. And, if they're anything like our kids, they learn that eating donuts, candy, and cookies at all three meals really does make you feel miserable. The natural consequences that come from Yes Day ideas are fabulous teachers themselves.
2. Set the limits and make great choices. Our ground rules are that no one can choose anything that would be harmful to themselves or others. And school is non-negotiable. We have gone out for bowling and movies, watched a lot of TV, and eaten some really strange combinations. And also said off limits to jumping off of the top bunk. Some things deserve the grand "No."
3. Let your kids see you relax and take part. Perhaps your children have this scenario worked out in their heads that Mom and Dad would freak if we... or I can't even imagine Mom and Dad letting us... This is likely my favorite part of Yes Day, seeing the surprises on their faces. Guess what? Mom doesn't like to get out of her pajamas either. And Dad could be convinced to relish a doughnut dinner. Just sayin'.
4. It makes for great sibling fun. With our three children, about two years apart in age, they have had a great time in the weeks and days before Yes Day, scheming what would be the best question to ask. It gets the 10-year old asking the 5-year old (and really listening to him) what he wants to do. Because, guess what? 5-year olds are really in touch with their silly side in ways that even 10-year olds have forgotten how to do!
5. Sometimes you see just how reasonable your children really are. No, Yes Days are not full of awesome for the parents. Kids get out of control. Tantrums happen. But they happen on all the other days, too, so why not have one really memorable day in the mix? Every year I brace myself for the dramatic requests that our three will pose. But, I've found, year after year, that our children know our means (and what cool things we're saving for), they have a decent sense of what could be harmful, and their dreams are delightfully (at this age at least) simple. Perhaps I should be this tuned in more often. Maybe I could actually say yes to things that are beyond my patience level at the time in order to see the Yes joy that they receive from the experience.
This year, Yes Day includes donuts for breakfast, staying in together the whole night, and lobster/crab eating while watching TV. And that's not even my Yes Day (though it's pretty darn close if I had to choose myself).
Would you do it? Have you celebrated a Yes Day?