Kate’s Corner
Mar 13 2015

  Say “Yes!”

Young children should hear “yes” from you far more than they should hear “no.”


As children grow and develop, they collect and use an astonishing amount of skills in a relatively very short time. They have literally had the whole world open up to them through movement, language and relationships.  Babies come into the world completely reliant on adults for their every need. Toddlers grow into the “I do it!” stage, preschoolers are starting to get it and school aged children thrive in learning and friendships.

Families and other adults who are part of all of these worlds have incredible influence that will shape life patterns and behaviors. Children are learning what they live. Positive, affirmative adults will be the reason that children grow up to be positive and affirmative. This is the power of “yes.”

Listen for your baby’s cry or whine when they are tired, hungry, want to be held or want you to play with them. When you rock your baby and sing, snuggling them into sleep, when you tell them let’s get you a warm bottle, when you pick them up and say I love you or sit on the floor with a favorite toy; you meet their needs.   You are saying “yes.” You are loved and safe. Take care of each other.

Take a breath when you are trying to help your toddler with her shoes and she shouts “I do it!” Find a little more patience when you have changed your 2 year old’s superhero wet underpants for what seems like the 10th time in a day because he runs from you and pulls his diaper off. Toddlers won’t eat all the food you would like them to. Offer her favorite yogurt for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then you are saying “yes.” Shoes, potties, and food will be with him for a life time. Learning takes time; give people a chance.

Just quietly stay put as guard when your preschooler climbs to the top of the monkey bars and starts to swing on them. Giggle with her when she stirs the cake mix and it flies all over the kitchen table, start again if you have to.  Hang that first try at writing on the fridge and frame his picture of my family. Talk about the neighborhood and walk next to her while she gets to hold the dog’s leash. You’re saying “Yes, I have confidence in you!” Be a cheerleader.

Your school-ager just starting on the soccer team is going to get scrapes and scratches, let the coach take care of it.  When she inevitably comes home from school crying because she spilled lunch on her clothes; has too much homework; didn’t get to sit next to her friend; offer kind words and a hug instead of dismissing her feelings. It’s not always easy to agree to a sleep over, be the car pool dad when asked or make a just remembered dozen of school birthday cupcakes at midnight. Do it anyway. You are saying “yes.” Children need a home base and a sense of belonging. Include everyone.

“Yes has magic within it!”

Susie Moore