January 25, 2012

Saying Yes More

Why is it, I ask, that there are days when our kiddos work so well together and accomplish so much with such cheerful obedience? And then....there are those other days. Yes, you know what I'm talking about. Those days where you would think they had never heard the words "obey right away." Those days where you ask them to do something, and they either look at you like you have an elephant sitting on your head or completely ignore you altogether! Yes....those days! Well, I haven't really come up with an answer to that question. I'm not sure anyone has. However, I have discovered something that surprised me a great deal.

Usually, when we are having one of those "other" days, my first thought is "BOOT CAMP!" (This is how we affectionately refer to intense child training around here!) I begin to line everyone up and tell them exactly how this day is going to go and let them know exactly what all my expectations are - all 200 of them - and exactly how they should fulfill every expectation I have for them this day! One day it occurred to me to put myself in their place. You see, every now and then, I need to remind myself that they are still learning. I've had 30 some years to practice obedience, and I have, by no means, perfected it! Why in the world do I expect my four year old to have perfected it? Then, as I began to study out what we had been doing during the week, I realized that everything we had done had been centered around me and my agenda. I began to think, "How much fun would a week be if the mr. demanded and demanded from me, but we never had any fun together? Would I enjoy fulfilling all of his wishes and commands without him ever acknowledging that I also had things I would like to do?"

Now, let me pause here and say life is not all about fun, and yes, our kiddos do need to learn to put aside their own desires in order to fulfill someone else's. We do not want to raise selfish children. There are also times when BOOT CAMP is called for, and we need to practice and retrain and even throw in some "discipline" until some of those bad habits that have crept in are broken. But I do need to remind myself that just because I'm the parent doesn't mean that life is centered around me either. How many times do I tell my kiddos yes vs. how many times do I tell my kiddos no? As I looked back over that week, I realized how many times I had told my kiddos no for purely selfish reasons.

"Can we paint?" "No it will be too messy!"
"Will you play a game with me" "No, I need to finish on the computer (aka: facebook)!"
"Can we go to the library?" "No, Mommy needs (aka: wants) to go to Shopko!"

Wow....I'm pretty selfish, aren't I? That is why I have determined this year to say yes more often to my kiddos. Does this mean my kiddos get everything they want? No way! Does this mean we have more fun in our house? Oh yeah! Does this mean my children are more cheerful and quick to obey? Actually, yes! I've found that the more positive, happy, fun time I spend with my kiddos the less negative time we have. So, maybe the next time you are about to holler BOOT CAMP, think about how the week has gone. Has it been all about you? Maybe it's time to say yes to the kiddos' request for a pillow fight or building a fort in the living room or splatter painting their room. Okay...maybe not the splatter painting. We do have to draw the line somewhere! :) Go have some fun with your kiddos today. It may pay off in more ways than you thought!

A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance. ~ Proverbs 15:23a


  1. If I could turn back time and choose the type of Mama to have she would be exactly like you~~steel when necessary with lace around the edges! You are an exceptional young woman, and I think that I can safely say for everyone of us that enjoy your musings on this blog, Praise the Lord that He gave us Christy...God bless you this day!

  2. Your words are too kind! As I write these things out, I am doing a lot of work on myself! :) I know there are a lot of days that my kiddos would gladly trade me for a different model! :) We are all a work in progress! Thanks for reading and leaving your words of encouragement!

  3. Christy-since our m & m meeting, every time I say no to Kenz, I second-guess myself. Thanks a lot. Lol! Seriously, good thoughts. I've been thinking along the same lines. Rachel J. has an interesting interview that I listened to recently where she talks about making our family the "end" and our housework the means rather than our housework the end and our children the means. I was slightly convicted. =)

  4. I am so right there with you, Becky! Finding a balance is such a tricky thing! But I do hear so many older parents say they wish they had enjoyed these younger years more, and I think it is such a foundational time! I was on Rachel's face book page a couple of weeks ago and wanted to listen to several of her interviews but haven't had a chance yet. It sounds like the mr. is taking all the kiddos snowmobiling tomorrow, so maybe I can then! :) Not sure I want to spend my weekend under conviction though! :) Wait until next month's m&m's - The Myth of Me Time!

  5. Such a good post Christy! Thanks so much for sharing...I really appreciated what you had to say.

  6. you have the option on your blog where I can get your posts sent to my e-mail? I always forget to check blogs and I'm hardly ever on facebook so I miss a lot of your posts. Thanks!

  7. Thank you, Callie! I'm glad you dropped by! :) And I did add a place to leave your email address so that you can receive posts that way! :) Thanks for asking!