Saturday, October 25, 2014

A Trick that Makes It Easy to Say Yes! - Day 21

Every time I sign my name I remember a life lesson I learned in a 3rd grade classroom.  When I was in high school I used one of my electives to help out in the elementary.
 The teacher had previously taught in the high school and been one of my favorites so I knew I would like working with her.  I remember her at the chalkboard, demonstrating proper cursive techniques.  She taught them how to touch the bottom line with their letters and put the proper curl on the first capital.  And then at the end of the word she taught them, and me about life.  Mrs. Gregson finished the last letter, touched the bottom line properly and then swooped her chalk up to end the word with a flourish and these words,

"Even in cursive writing, you are deciding what kind of person you want to be.  Do you want to be a positive, UP kind of person?  Then slide that pencil up and end your word with a positive motion!  Don't end your words going down when you could go up and be positive!!"

The same is true of us, Moms.  We have a choice with our words, a choice of making them positive or negative.  I realize how easy it is to get our defaults set to "NO!" and feel that word forming on our lips even before we've heard the whole question.  Makes perfect sense when you've had to answer questions like, "Can we gel the dog's hair?"  "Can I put my brother in this massive tractor tire and roll him down the hill?"  "Do you want to see how high I can bounce the guinea pig on the trampoline?"  What Mom isn't trained to default to "No" with questions like that?  

There are so many things I know that we have to say "no" to for the safety of our kids and the safety of the whole as a whole.  I'm trying to think before I say "no" these days though, and only say it if there's no way to say "yes."  I have an upswing at the end of my signature, I want to have an upswing in my Mom-ming too!

Even when we have to say "no" we have a choice about how we say it.  I've found a little trick that makes it easy-peasy to say "yes" more often and keep a smile on your face.

Have you heard the term, "There's two sides to every coin?"  Well there are also two sides to every instruction you give your children.  You can state the same information in the negative or in the positive.  Practice this:

Instead of:
"No, you may not go outside."
Try,
"Yes, you may go outside as soon as nap-time is done!"

Instead of:
"No, you can't have that candy."
Try,
"Yes!  Let's have that candy for dessert after we eat our healthy lunch!"

Instead of:
"No, you may not smear the mashed potatoes on your face!"
Try,
"Yes, you can smear something on your face, let's try this lotion!"

Instead of:
"No, you can't wear your pajamas to church."
Try,
"Yes those pajamas look super comfy.  Let's lay them here on your bed so they're ready for you when you get home!"

Get the idea?  Amp up your creative juices and find ways to turn your "no's" into "yes's!"  You and your toddler will both smile more, I promise!  

"Yes's" just feel better, on the lips and on the ears.  I've heard this magical phenomenon described as the "Yes Spiral" in marriage advice, but it works the same with our kids.  Each time we say "no" the emotional spiral gets smaller and smaller and the feelings tighter and tighter.  The opposite happens when we say "yes" to each other.  Our emotions open up and the spiral gets wider and wider.  The wider it gets the easier it feels for both people in the relationship to say spontaneous "Yes's!"

Be a "Yes Momma" today!  You want to be a positive person who's raising positive people!  Let's practice adding a flourish to our lives instead of the angry eyebrows of a default "No."  Your "Yes" can be the upswing on the signature of your life, something that leaves your kids smiling as they scamper off to obey!


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