Do you think you have it in you to be a mom who says ‘Yes’? I didn’t, not until I reflected on a number of things to make it possible.
“No, you can’t go out to play today. It’s too cold.”
“No, you can’t watch that TV show. You’ve watched enough TV this week!”
“No, you should not eat food outside the home!”
We were discussing this with a few parents when we got together a while ago. One of us spoke about how saying ‘No’ all the time was leading to fights and arguments on a daily basis. One mom mentioned how she refused to let her son watch TV incessantly. Another spoke about how she forbade her child from going out to play unless homework was done. Yet another chimed in, saying, she too stood her ground and said No when it came to playing games on the iPad. It made me realise an uncomfortable truth.
Confession: I have actually said one or two of the above. And the result? It was always a tug of war and wills between me and my daughter. Shouldn’t parenting be easier than this? Almost never had I been a ‘Yes Mom’.
I used to yell at my daughter, repeatedly, for not doing things according to my expectations. It resulted in so much tension that a proper conversation was impossible. I’d be so angry that everything she asked for would be met with a ‘No’. No ice-cream, no TV, no play time, no reading of books: Just NO!
After a point, I was exhausted by the way things didn’t seem to get better. That’s when I took up the #YesChallenge. I vowed to communicate from a place of connection instead of control. Saying Yes to some things would help, if I had to repair whatever damage had been created by years of saying ‘No’.
I thought back to my own childhood and how I hardly ever heard my parents say ‘No’ to me and my dreams. I wanted to study Arts and my dad never once said ‘No’. I wanted to participate in singing competitions and both parents always encouraged me. They motivated me to try my best at something before deciding if it was worth my time and effort. That has shaped who I am today. Why wasn’t I doing the same for my own child?
Open up any newspaper and website and we find our heroes – from MS Dhoni and PV Sindhu to Deepika Kumari or Abdul Kalam. In a moment, I pondered- how different would their lives have been if they had been met with a No rather than a Yes?
I imagined a little Dhoni or Sindhu wanting to spend more time on the field or the court and being told a big No, with the backing of the knowledge that only academics matters!
Think of the story of Abdul Kalam, coming from the small town of Rameswaram, how many yes-es were needed to get him to the top of India’s nuclear program and later, the president of our country! Did you know he even dreamed about and tried to follow his dream of becoming a fighter pilot but only missed qualifying narrowly?
Even the movie Secret Superstar shows how the right mentoring and the saying ‘Yes’ to a whole of things can help your kids grow up more confidently and pursue their dreams.
Thinking of these and other stories, I made the decision to change. It wasn’t easy. I’ve bitten my tongue so many times, I have lost count. But it’s been worthwhile. Kids are amazingly resilient and loving, so they will understand when you communicate in the right way.
Today, I can tell that my Yes has worked wonders on her psyche and our relationship. There’s room for flexibility and plenty of space for growth. She’s more receptive to what I say and how I say it and I can tell you, the difference is amazing.
What I’m trying to say is, I’ve made the shift, consciously so, to becoming a Yes Mom. And the change its brought about is visible. Would you call yourself a #YesMom? Do you think you are a mom who allows your child to test their limits, push themselves or are you the kind who raises a protected child in a restricted bubble of existence?
In this interesting and thought-provoking video, the makers, ActivKids Immuno Boosters – an immunity nutrition supplement for kids take an honest look at being a ‘#YesMom’ and why it’s important for your children. It’s a short video so I urge you to watch it. It is an eye-opener on how we choose to communicate with our children.
Now think. What does your kid hear when you say No? Chances are the child is taking the No at face value. If you say ‘No’ to playing outdoors, they will stop playing with their friends. That’s because a ‘No’ is very black and white.
Today, I want you to make a shift. Change the perspective just a little. Say ‘Yes’, but do it in such a way that it still allows for flexibility. Instead of saying ‘No going to play outdoors’, try saying, ‘Yes’, you can go to play, but make sure you wear something warm to cover up.’ Instead of ‘No TV today’, switch to saying, ‘TV time? Sure, as soon as we’re done with our homework, okay?’
Pledge to be a mom who cares for her kids by using the simple power of a single word: Yes. Motivate them to try and step out of their comfort zones and aim for the stars.
We can’t dream for our kids, but we can surely help them towards that dream by saying ‘Yes’ more often, don’t you agree? A short note here about the brand that took this initiative, ActivKids Immuno Boosters. On reading about it I found it builds immunity for kids which I realize is missing in today’s kids. Think about our times and we never fell sick so often. We as mothers try so many things to ensure our kids stay healthy and infection free. I am surely going to try these interesting choco-bites which have the important immunity nutrients.
So, are you willing to be a Yes Mom? Do you think you have it in you to empower your kids to dream? Will your child grow to be a star in their own right? Join the #YesMom movement today.
*This is a post written in collaboration with the brand. The opinion and facts, however, remain unbiased and stated as it were. *