faith and family, growing up Elkins

On Saying YES to Your Kids.

on saying yes to your kids

It was a regular ol’ Saturday. We were barely awake, just finished breakfast, and trying to dutifully derobe children from pajamas to “regular clothes”. Not much planned, but we knew it would be a “home day”, and on “home days” we tend to fix something or break something trying to fix it.

They all went out before me, as I cleaned up the final bits from breakfast and found a quick dress and leggings to wear–not to look cute, but because the laundry was overflowing and I was about to show it who was boss. As I folded and hung tiny cotton shirts to dry, I noticed how quiet it was inside the house. It is a rare treat to have such a moment, but for some reason, I did not want it.


I dropped that pile of flannel pajama pants and traipsed down the porch stairs in my oversized rain boots to find out to where everyone had scattered.  And there they were in the woods–not at all far from the shed, scoping out the perfect place for a “secret hideout”. The breeze was so brilliant it almost took my breath, but children are barely slowed by what adults consider an inconvenience.

Currently, the kids have two secret hideouts, but as a friend mentioned the other day, to tell you the exact location of these hideouts would make them no longer secret. They are nature built–two very large trees that have overturned long before our family moved here, with giant roots curling and winding to the sky, and large trunks in which to climb and enjoy.



But this time it was different: “Daddy? Will you build us a secret hideout?” he said. He didn’t just want to “find” another place to “hide”, he wanted his Daddy to be a part of his little world. To open up the door to that trust. To say, “It may not be cool to let Daddy and Mommy in, but I don’t care. I love them, and they love me”.

So, without hesitation, my husband simply got up from the pile of dead leaves in the middle of the woods with that twinkle in his blue eyes that I have seen so many times before, the twinkle that means, “I have an idea”.

And his ideas? They are always good. So I am ready to be that helpmeet to him.

“I need a level, that drawer full of screws my grandfather used to use when he built houses, and an ax”. Done.



We were out there all day, sawing, lifting heavy logs, and that dress I wore, just thinking I would be inside all day doing laundry, was a constant hindrance to the briar bushes that continued to drag me down.


Stopping only for lunch, then grilling hot dogs for supper out in the fire pit next to the old wooden picnic table, it occurred to me there are so many times we say no:

“No more cookies before supper”.

“No, you cannot go outside right now”.

“No, not right now. I am busy”.

“No, no, no!”

And sometimes “no” is necessary. But that day, that day we built something from nothing, was a “yes” day. And maybe? Just maybe, we should be saying “yes” a little more.


Because yes never felt so freeing.


13 thoughts on “On Saying YES to Your Kids.

  1. I love this! I have been working hard over the past year to say yes to my kids more. Yes to jumping in the mud, yes to paint (even though the paint rarely gets on the actual paper) yes to cuddles and more stories. Excellent post! These are the moments our children will remember, and that we will remember as well.
    Heather recently posted…Sunday QuotesMy Profile

  2. Yes!! I have made it a point to say YES whenever I can. Some days I think the word *no* wins out, but most days I hope that my yeses far outnumber the no’s 🙂 Welcome to the Yes Mom club!!
    Aurie recently posted…Today is THE Day.My Profile

  3. So glad I read this today so I could read it “guilt-free!” Last night we had 4 of the grands over for dinner. After we ate I read them, Ugly Pie, by Lisa Wheeler. If you are familiar with this story, on the end page is a recipe for the Ugly Pie that Bear makes. We got to that page and the kids all cried out, “Oh! Can we make that, Gramma?!” and my answer was, “Yes!” so we hurried into the kitchen, 2 sets of hands helped mix the flour, peel the Granny Smiths (It was meant to be, as I actually had 6 of the “right” kind of apples on hand!) measure and mix and roll…While one read the recipe to us. The finished product (pre-baking) went home with them to cook and enjoy. What fun! Thanks for voicing this message–great reminder. Gail
    Gail recently posted…Three HaikusMy Profile

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