One of many, many, many things that left an impression on me from this book was a section about really knowing your kids. I don't have the book here, since I borrowed it, so I can't give an exact quote, but there was a sentence that went something like this...
Is your daughter the one who always wants to paint and you always say no??
Yes. As a matter of fact, yes, that is my daughter. My sweet daughter who loves, LOVES to paint, doesn't get to paint very often, though she asks a lot to do so. Generally, I say NO and we all know why: painting is messy. This specific situation struck a chord with me and I realized that I needed to say YES to painting, more than I was saying NO.
On Saturday, I was working in the kitchen when I heard my husband say to my daughter, "You will have to go ask Mommy."
Out she runs and she says, "Paint, Mommy?"
I said, "Yes. Yes, we can paint."
Let me tell you, she was shocked. Her little face broke out into a huge smile and she ran back to her dad saying, "She said yes! Mommy said yes." It was the cutest thing, but yet, I could have cried. She was too shocked and too happy at me saying YES. Ouch.
So, we painted...
|And we painted and we painted...|
|Once she left the paintbrush behind, I did remember why I usually say NO to painting. When the mess was cleaned up, however, I knew again why I said YES in the first place. That was one happy little artist.|
So, all this to say...I am trying to say YES and not just to painting...
Can you play Legos with me?
Can you help me with this?
Can we play Play-Doh?
Can we go outside?
Can we color?
Can you play with me?
My answers too often are...
In a minute.
When I finish this.
After I am done here.
Give me a few seconds.
I just need to send a quick e-mail.
I can't right now because I am too busy.
Granted, I can't drop everthing on every occassion to meet every need. But, I think I can say YES more than I do. I know for a fact that dirty dishes and laundry will wait for me. In the blink of an eye, I can see that I will be the one saying, "Can you play with me?" I really, really want my teenaged Eli and Abby to say "YES. Yes, Mom, we can play with you." So, we'll start now.