Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
Am I the only parent to whom the word “no” just seems to roll off the tongue?
I don’t understand why, but my natural tendency is to say no first and think about yes later. This is sometimes legitimate–maybe I’m not sure what the answer should be or I’m in the middle of something important.
But sometimes I say no for no good reason. Can you relate?
Many homeschooling parents started this lifestyle because we wanted to tailor the curriculum and learning process to our children and their individualized interests. But it can be hard to do that when we get so caught up in our own daily agenda that our “yeses” come infrequently.
Recently I’ve been reading Free-Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon, and I agree with Laura when she says the following:
“We want our children’s lives built on meaningful influences. What relationships and activities each family chooses will be unique. That uniqueness is precious. By filling our days with what is important to us, we take charge of our own lives.
“We don’t have to fit cherished moments into the time left after school hours and homework. Nor do we have to confine our bodies and minds to processed educational materials if we choose to find our own way.”
It seems, during the holiday season, we relax and go deeper into life. This makes it the perfect time to say yes more often. Sometimes we think our children only care about the stuff we have to give, when really they care about who we have to give–ourselves.
Times to Say Yes
- when your child wants to help bake your Thanksgiving pie
- when they get the paint or Play-Doh out and we can envision the mess in our mind
- when it’s bedtime but they beg to read books for a few more minutes
- when they say “Mama, watch me!”
- when you can tell they need your attention to ward off an emotional meltdown
- when they say “Read it again. Just one more time, please?!”
- when they want to decorate the Christmas tree–not quite the way you imagined
Reasons to Say Yes
- because education comes most naturally and easily when it follows a child’s interests
- because it’s fun to let go and embrace the moment
- because choosing peace sometimes means letting go of productivity
- because we want our kids to know we’re listening
- because we want our kids to know how important they are
- because sometimes the best memories are delivered in unplanned packages
- because ideas provide the inspiration for an incredible, authentic life
No’s will always be part of our lives, and for good reason, but this holiday season let’s keep in mind that a big part of our job is to say yes.
As we dare to let go of control, we’ll find that joy lives in that place of release. Through saying yes, we discover so much more to be thankful for.
Which comes easier to you: saying no or saying yes?