No Cookies at my House

choose yesIt seems like it’s always easier for a parent or a babysitter to say NO to any request from a child. I’ve often wondered why.

When I was little, my neighborhood friends and I would play outside and occasionally would go to someone’s house and say we were hungry. We asked to come in and have a snack. The moms always said NO. Sometimes they would hand us a cookie each and send us outside to enjoy it.

After one of these episodes, I asked my mom why the other moms wouldn’t let us come in for a snack. She said they didn’t want to mess up their houses. I asked Mom if she would do this and she said “Of course not” but then, my mom never had cookies!

As I thought about this later, after I had a child, I worked on saying YES whenever possible. This was probably a product of all those Nos from years back. Is it so hard to sweep a kitchen floor or run the vacuum? Exactly who were they keeping our houses clean for, if not our kids and their friends?

choose yesI also remember back when I was in Jr. High and High School, I would talk about trying out for a school play or cheerleading and my dad always said NO. “Why would you want to do that? You’ll just be disappointed when you don’t make it.” This was not exactly the encouragement I was looking for.

The yes -vs- no habit can be a tough one to break. Sure, it’s often easier to say no and keep the house clean or save the drama of disappointment.

But don’t we want to say yes to our kids and to ourselves to help us to grow and experience new opportunities? Saying no, unless there is a darn good reason, is a cop-out. It’s taking the easy way out and showing a lack of support for our kids and for ourselves.

Do we benefit from saying yes? I think we do. We are repaid with excitement, new experiences, and opportunities for growth. Taking the easy way out is not always the best way to go.  Boats are not built to stay in the safe harbor, and neither are people.

Who is Judy

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