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That Toy Will Not Deliver Happiness
My kids know the secret to happiness. Yours do too. It’s just not lasting happiness.
Our kids tell us what they want all the time. A new app, a new toy, a big party. And when we deliver, they are happy as promised.
For twenty minutes. Or twenty four hours. Give or take.
Actually, there is another way to turn on those smiles.
And you’ll probably even get lasting memories and even some gratitude out of it if you try this way I’m about to share.
Just Say The Magic Word
All you have to do to make your kids do a happy dance is say one magic word.
The word is YES!
No, I don’t suggest a free for all.
Just say YES when your kiddos expect to hear a big fat NO, and watch those dimples come out big time.
The trick is to hand out permission when they don’t see it coming.
Every child is different, and every day sees them making new requests.
But here are some ideas from my own kids this week.
Of course, I didn’t say yes to every request, but each one would have been just as great an opportunity as the others.
You Can Say YES When They Ask…
- Will you read me one more story?
- May I have another cupcake?
- Will you play a game with me?
- Can we have a movie night?
- Can we play in the rain?
- Can I help make dinner tonight?
- Can I wear this costume to the store?
- May I use the glitter?
- Can we stop for ice cream?
- Can I have a playdate?
When To Use Your Veto Power
Of course, it is just as important to keep your children safe from activities that harm their well-being as it is to allow them to explore pursuits they find appealing.
So there are times when saying NO is appropriate.
Here are some of the criteria I use when I determine what not to allow.
I say no to my child’s request if…
- …It costs more than I can afford. Never go into debt or put your finances in jeopardy to give your kids a quick thrill. Use your veto power here, or find a way to make a similar dream come true. A trip to the ice cream shop may not be in the cards, but maybe strawberries and whipped cream that you already have will suffice.
- …It happens after bedtime. Bedtime is a non-negotiable in our home. Kids need sleep, and since there is always a good reason to make an exception, we just don’t. And I’m guessing that if you’ve allowed bedtime to take a back seat to fun in the past, you learned your lesson the next morning.
- …It compromises my child’s health or safety. Just say no to anything unsafe. Yes, your boys may try tying the skate board to the back of a bicycle one day anyway. But it doesn’t need to happen with your blessing.
Turn Off Autopilot
As moms, we are quick to shoot down many of our children’s requests, but most of the time, this is not because our children are making dangerous or unreasonable requests.
Rather, we often turn down their ideas because we find them to be inconvenient, or we just don’t feel like making the effort.
Mama, nothing about raising children is convenient.
But I know that you want more from your relationship with your kids than a series of battles over bedtime and homework.
So take opportunities to make your children’s desires come true and you will capture not only their respect, but also their little hearts, whenever you can.
Which of your children’s requests are you always quick to shoot down? Are there any you can reconsider?