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THE SOAR BLOG

Say “YES” to Your Child

By: Dr. Liz Simpson

All genuine learning is active, not passive. It involves the use of the mind, not just the memory. It is a process of discovery, in with the student is the main agent, not the teacher.

Mortimer J. Adler.

Sometimes,  as a parent, it seems like the first word out of our mouth is “no”, or perhaps, “NO!”

This week I want you to practice saying YES!, with your children. “Yes” is one of the best tools you have in your parenting toolbox! You are not giving away your power when you say yes, you are teaching your children how to appropriately access their power.

There are five ways to say yes.

  1. Yes, you are in charge! I’m following you!
  2. Yes, how can I help you?
  3. Yes, tell me what your plan is so I can understand.
  4. Yes, but let’s negotiate the details.
  5. Yes, under these circumstances.

Why is it so important to say yes?

When you say “yes” it opens a door to learning for your child. When we are learning we are:

  • engaged,
  • motivated and
  • cooperative

“Yes” teaches competence,  the art of negotiation, how to compromise, plus it supports creativity and nurtures a growth mindset in your child! A powerful tool indeed!

“No” is a barrier. Sometimes it is critical to throw down that barrier, especially when there is a true threat to your child’s safety.

However, “No” is always a barrier. When we hit a barrier, we either:

  • struggle against it,
  • try and go around it
  • just shut down or
  • we accept and comply

Have you ever noticed the above in your child’s reaction when you said no? Your child is still learning, however, the only thing learned is that there was a barrier they could not get around. When they hit enough of those barriers, they will quit trying. Often this leads to a fixed mindset. (check out the webinar on Mindset: A strengths-based path to success)

Which would you prefer for your child? A growth mindset or a fixed mindset?

Remember– you have rules and boundaries in your house and those still need to be honored or renegotiated. You are not giving away your power when you say yes, you are teaching your children how to appropriately access their power.

We want our kids to grow up to be autonomous, self-directed, self-aware, individuals. Saying “YES” and being there as a guide is the best way to set them on the right path.