Say Yes as Often as You Can

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Kids' Feet

This is the fourth installment of an eight-part series.

Your kids have to accommodate your needs and wishes, because your needs and wishes matter, true. That'll work best if you get in the habit of saying yes to them.

Don't say yes when it costs you too much, when it bugs you deep-down, when it conflicts with a schedule you have to keep or infringes on the needs or rights of someone else. Don't say yes when you can't.

But when you can? Say yes when it's inconvenient. Say yes when you're not really keen on it. Say yes when you can afford to give them another five minutes without stopping the world from turning.

Saying yes is fun, if you only do it when you can. More importantly, it will help your kid trust that you're on their side.

It will also make your no mean more. If you've built up a lot of yesses, they'll be more likely to assume there's a reason when you do say no. Because, again, they'll trust you.

You've got to be intentional to build this habit, though, because it's tricky, to think it through before you tell your kid yes or no. It's tricky to refrain from saying no on auto-pilot when you could have said yes, and from saying yes accidentally to something that ends up driving you crazy.

Whatever you do say, though, you've got to do your best to make good on it.

(To be continued next week.)