A few weeks ago, I was busy getting things ready to take my daughter, E (almost 4) to the mall to buy her a new dress for an upcoming party. It was just going to be mommy-E time and we were both looking forward to this. My husband was outside with both my children (I also have a 21 month old son, Ev) reinstalling the car seats for me as the kids played. Once I was all ready I headed out to the car to find E all buckled in her car seat, ready to go. But that wasn't all I found in the back seat of my car. There next to my daughter's seat, was her stuffed bear Avery in her baby stroller seat belted in.
The first thought that came to mind was Oh heck no. We are NOT bringing a baby stroller to the mall on a Saturday! I'll end up carrying that thing all over. But what I did next surprised me. I said "Oh your bear is coming with us today huh? Cool!" and I got in the car and off we went. And you know what? E pushed that baby stroller all over the mall for over three hours. Not once did she ask me to push it for her. Not once did she complain. She happily pushed that stroller all over the mall while people pointed, whispered, and smiled at us. Bear even had to have her own spot at the table at lunch. And of course we had to take the elevator several times and not the stairs because that is what you have to do when you have a stroller.
At one point as we were walking through the mall, another mother actually stopped me and said "You are so patient! I could never do that!" It got me thinking about how often I say no because the thought of saying yes starts to give me anxiety. I am not a total control freak nor am I a neat freak but I have been known to say no simply because I know it will make a huge mess and we (i.e. *I*) will have to clean it up. But this one time of saying yes really taught me how important it is to say yes more often and to live a little outside your comfort zone. Walking around that mall with her baby stroller not only made my daughter extremely happy but she was also learning responsibility. In addition, many times she had to use her problem solving skills to figure out how to get from point A to point B with the stroller, and she was practicing gross motor and coordination skills the whole time as she weaved in and out of people and objects. This parenting snapshot was more by accident but it caused me to start making more purposeful parenting choices and stepping outside my comfort zone. For example, the next weekend my daughter begged to paint some foam pumpkins we got and rather than saying "Later" because I wasn't planning to do it until later, I busted out the paint and let them go at it!
Sometimes, you just have to say yes. Try it. I triple dog dare you.
Katie is a mom to two little ones, E (almost 4) and Ev (21 months) and a licensed and credentialed pediatric speech-language pathologist (when she finds the time). She blogs over at Playing With Words 365, sharing information about speech and language development, intervention strategies, therapy ideas and tips, and shares a little about her family and their life too. You can follow along on Facebook or Pinterest for more speech and language ideas and tips.
Kim's Spin On It
Can you imagine the confidence it builds in your child when they come up with an idea and you say YES to it! I think this is a good reminder to pause during our busiest times of the year, the holiday season, and make sure we create opportunities for these littlest moments of Yes.
One of our books in the Virtual Book Club this Month is Yes Day by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Here's a special experience Here Comes the Girls had with her Yes Day with her kids. She even has a printable for you.
Thank you so much Katie for sharing. Some of my favorite post on Playing with Words 365 are 50 Ways to Your Child Occupied on a Plane. She also had a great collecting of Free Printables she's created with titles like The Very Hungry Reindeer or Turkey, Turkey What Do You See? She has created so many resources for Speech and Language with your children. Here's one for Fall! I promise you stop by her site and you will find so many resources for Speech and Language with your child!