Showing posts sorted by relevance for query yes. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query yes. Sort by date Show all posts

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Saying "Yes" Again

A mom named Sara came back after lapsing toward "no," and wrote:

I'm a huge believer in fresh starts, and I decided to just hit my personal reset button and start fresh. .... I have begun with something very simple, which is saying yes instead of no.
. . . .

I took a deep breath and started over, with YES. I kept a little list of all the things the kids asked for (they didn't see me doing this). Can we have some jellybeans? Yes.

Can we watch a movie? Yes

Could you get me a pickle and a napkin in a bowl, and can I eat it on the couch? Yes. (Shushing the mom-voice in my head that wanted to say we NEVER eat on the couch, you know that. I just said 'sure' and got the pickle, and then another when she asked for a second one.)

Can we play a computer game? Yes.

Later I was looking at my list and I thought, wow, I'd have loved to have a day like that when I was a kid. Jellybeans and a movie and pickles and computer games.
—Sara, 2007


SandraDodd.com/yesagain
photo by Sandra Dodd

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mindful and thoughtful

Sylvia Woodman wrote:

I think people confuse "Say yes more" with "Never say no."

When you are moving toward unschooling it's important for parents to examine why they are saying "No" to their children.  child sewing with sewing machineIs it for a good and real reason or is the parent saying no reflexively? I think it's an important mental exercise in creative thinking to examine "Why am I saying no?" There may actually be a good and real reason to say no. Maybe with a little creativity the answer can be yes. Maybe it can be "yes, but not now." Or "Yes, but not here."

To say "yes" reflexively is no more mindful than saying "no" thoughtlessly.
—Sylvia Woodman

SandraDodd.com/joyce/yes
photo by Rippy Dusseldorp
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Actually change!

salad on square black plate, with forkI practiced saying yes. That was the only way to make changes. To actually change. My thoughts changed gradually as I said yes. Yes to cookies, yes to grapes, yes to letting go of "good" and "bad" labels for food.
—Karen Angstadt
SandraDodd.com/change
photo by Sandra Dodd, of an Australian salad with mouse melons

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Yes, please; sunshine

Saying "Yes" more than you might have brings sunshine to your life.
Yes   ☀️    Yes   ☀️    Yes!
photo by Karen James
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ease into change

Instead of just going from lots of control to "do whatever you want," a really sweet way to do it is quickly but gradually. Quickly in your head, but not all of a sudden in theirs. Just allow yourself to say "okay" or "sure!" anytime it's not really going to be a problem.


If something isn't going to hurt anything (going barefoot, wearing the orange jacket with the pink dress, eating a donut, not coming to dinner because it's the good part of a game/show/movie, staying up later, dancing) you can just say "Okay."

And then later instead of "aren't you glad I let you do that? Don't expect it every time," you could say something reinforcing for both of you, like "That really looked like fun," or "It felt better for me to say yes than to say no. I should say 'yes' more," or something conversational but real.

The purpose of that is to help ease them from the controlling patterns to a more moment-based and support-based decision making mindset. If they want to do something and you say yes in an unusual way (unusual to them), communication will help. That way they'll know you really meant to say yes, that it wasn't a fluke, or you just being too distracted to notice what they were doing.

SandraDodd.com/eating/control.html
photo by Julie D
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Monday, May 20, 2019

Ease into change

Instead of just going from lots of control to "do whatever you want," a really sweet way to do it is quickly but gradually. Quickly in your head, but not all of a sudden in theirs. Just allow yourself to say "okay" or "sure!" anytime it's not really going to be a problem.


If something isn't going to hurt anything (going barefoot, wearing the orange jacket with the pink dress, eating a donut, not coming to dinner because it's the good part of a game/show/movie, staying up later, dancing) you can just say "Okay."

And then later instead of "aren't you glad I let you do that? Don't expect it every time," you could say something reinforcing for both of you, like "That really looked like fun," or "It felt better for me to say yes than to say no. I should say 'yes' more," or something conversational but real.

The purpose of that is to help ease them from the controlling patterns to a more moment-based and support-based decision making mindset. If they want to do something and you say yes in an unusual way (unusual to them), communication will help. That way they'll know you really meant to say yes, that it wasn't a fluke, or you just being too distracted to notice what they were doing.

SandraDodd.com/eating/control.html
photo by Julie D
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Friday, December 1, 2023

Easier to get to yes

The other day Emma, 6, asked me a series of questions to which all of the answers were yes. She stopped and stared at my head for a bit and said "Yeah, ya sure got a lot of yesses in there."

I loved that.

I used to have a lot of "I can't" in there. Saying yes more often has helped me be more clear about the difference between can't, won't, and don't want to. When that all becomes clear, yesses are easier to get to.
—Amy Kidwell

SandraDodd.com/yes
photo by Molly Mulvaney

Saturday, February 26, 2022

More "yes"

About food...

If you're moving from rules and measurements and prohibitions, let them eat more. Let them eat less.

If they ask for another cookie you could say "Okay! Do you want milk, too?"

Don't say "Yes, but only one more" and don't say "Yes, as many as you want."

Say "yes."

"Gradual Change" chat transcript
photo by Sarah S.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Not just for kids!

I've been saying "why not?" more often and it feels good! I think it's rubbing off on my husband.
        . . . .
Say "yes" to saying yes!
—Kara
Read the middle of that story with a sweet example:
SandraDodd.com/joyce/yes
photo by Hinano

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A font of "yes!"


Years ago, in a discussion of whether kids should need to ask, or what to think about kids asking for permission for things even though the mom is going to say yes, I wrote:

Maybe they're coming to you as a font of "yes!"

That's a cool thing, if every time they want something loving and positive, they run to mom, huh?
. . . .
My big guys still ask little things, like "Can I have this last soda?" What that means is "had you dibsed it?" or "Is this perhaps NOT the last soda, so I'll feel better about taking it?"

If I say "Sure," they're drinking a soda I gave them, and I bet it tastes better than one they snagged knowing they had "the right" to drink it, but they wanted the blessing.


NEW NOTE:
Be grateful for opportunities to be kind to your children.

SandraDodd.com/freedom/to
photo by Sandra Dodd
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Monday, February 26, 2024

Say yes when you can

My kids are great at delayed gratification, all of them. They have saved money, earned money, bought small things, and large things, waited for friends to visit, waited for holidays and parties, and because they're busy and secure people, they could always find something to do. But they were also generally sure that as soon as it WAS possible, they would do it, or have it. That's because they had lived their lives with parents who were their partners and who helped them, rather than thwarted or frustrated them.

Some kids get to 18 and they're sick and tired of waiting, and they don't want to wait anymore for ANYthing. Some turn to drugs, drinking, partying, charge cards, driving too fast... When parents have a choice of saying yes or no, and they choose 'no' because they think it's good for their child, they are putting that pressure and tension in the bank to gain interest.

Say yes when you can, especially if it's about something that will help your child learn. If you can't decide, think "Will he be happy and learn? Will this help with unschooling?"
2013, Sandra
of kids who were in their early- to mid-20s then

SandraDodd.com/no
photo by Holly Dodd
of herself wearing a top from the 1970s that I handed down to her, with an orchid plant rescued from a trash can

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sometimes yes

Sometimes saying yes is being patient a little longer than the schedule says you should. Sometimes being kind is not rushing toward or away from something. Sometimes magic, and learning, and memories, come from a patient, gentle, unspoken "yes."
SandraDodd.com/yesagain
photo by Sandra Dodd

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Tons of yes

Some advice on going gradually:

Just like getting lots of gifts instead of one big one, if you say "sure," "okay," "yes" to lots of requests for watching a movie late or having cake for breakfast or them playing another half hour on the swings and you can just read a book in the car nearby, then they get TONS of yes, and permission, and approval. If you throw your hands up and say "Whatever," that's a disturbing moment of mom seeming not to care instead of mom seeming the provider of an assortment of joyous approvals.

SandraDodd.com/freedom/to
photo by Sandra Dodd
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Changing the present, healing the past, hope for the future



Often people have been resistant about the idea that unschooling involves anything more than just letting their kids play. They don't like to think it involves changing themselves.

Gradually, freedom for the children creates a new looseness in the parents, though. And as one increases, the other does too. When a parent hits a hard spot, where they feel jealousy and resentment, it's often a sign that there's a painful childhood memory that hasn't been laid out to dry yet.

When we're tempted to say "no," and we have that little internal conversation about "Why not?" that can be healing. When I'm there, I think of my mom saying no, and then I picture her having been open enough to say yes more, and I picture my childhood self having a thrill of freedom and approval. There was some freedom, and some approval, but I can imagine up a lot more of it, and shower it on my children.

Sometimes I picture my granny telling my imagined young-girl mom "Yes" a lot too, and I think maybe if my mom had had more freedom she would have more to spread around. And I hope my children will not have to think so hard when they say yes to their children.

Others have mentioned feeling lighter and less bound by "have to." It doesn't seem to matter whether they start with "educational" issues or general parenting issues, it all builds together. All the relationships get better.

SandraDodd.com/rentalk.html
photo by Sandra Dodd (hot-tub stove, open)
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Monday, December 26, 2022

Lots of yes

It's sweeter to say yes several times a day, with the option to still say "not yet," than to have one big "anytime, anywhere" that then might need to be amended.
[But she's asking even though I've told her she doesn't need to ask.]
There are times it won't be a good idea. Say yes, sweetly, when she asks, instead of correcting her and making promises you might not be able to keep.


Too Far, Too Fast
photo by Roya Dedeaux

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Respect for the wholeness of children


When humor exists at the expense of children's dignity and self esteem, when humor is an indicator of the jokester's true feelings about the wholeness and value and intelligence of chidren, that undermines children's worth and their chances of being seen, heard and respected as the full and important humans they are.
. . .

Yes, jokes are funny, and yes, people need to have a sense of humor, but people also should have a sense of their own beliefs and courage and the future of mankind. Is that overstating it? Maybe and maybe not.

SandraDodd.com/notfunny
photo by Sandra Dodd
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Friday, January 25, 2013

Pure gold


"So I invite you to try a little bitty bit of unschooling: say yes more. Not about everything all the time and not at random—question your "Nos" and "laters", your "have tos" and "shoulds" and rethink some of those. Find more options, more ideas, more ways to say yes. Just that. And life with your children gets sweeter and more peaceful. That's pure gold."
—Meredith Novak

SandraDodd.com/meredithnovak
photo by Julie D
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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hundreds and thousands


Say "yes" hundreds of happy, surprising-to-the-kids times, about whether they can stay up a little later, or have another cookie, or visit the neighbors, or jump off the porch. Hearing "YES!" is a huge thrill to kids who have been told "no" thousands of times.


That advice is about how parent can move gradually toward unschooling,
rather than jump too quickly.
SandraDodd.com/gradualchange
photo by Chelsea Thurman Artisan
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Thursday, November 11, 2021

Loving and patient

In families in which parents have considered themselves partners in their children's rich lives, teens don't have the desperate urge to leave. A natural desire to leave the nest does kick in, as it does for many mammals. It might have kicked in sooner if the culture didn't require parents to take care of their children and be responsible for them until they were 18 years old. I know dozens of teens up close, by name, who are loving and patient with their parents even though the parents are getting old and forgetful. Teens can be helpful and generous with parents and siblings when they themselves have been generously helped up to that point.

from "Saying Yes to Teens" in The Big Book of Unschooling (page 252 or 293)
which links to
SandraDodd.com/yes

photo by Belinda Dutch

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Yes, they learn.


I will say this: Any questions you have about unschooling have been answered before. If it didn’t work, no one would do it. Yes, children learn math, music, to spell, to wake up on time, to finish projects and to follow rules.

SandraDodd.com/sustainable
photo by Sandra Dodd
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