Half of all the sentences in our house start with "Can I...?" and the answer is "no" or "in a minute" or "maybe later" around half the time. I wonder between school and home how many times a day a kid hears these words and phrases. While I've been trained over the years to be positive, I feel like I haven't been very engaged lately. Maybe it's a serious amount of laundry, facebook, four kids or working on my own projects but the "no's" were stacking up.
I decided to say yes a little more and add a new phrase to the mix, "Do you want to...?".
Yes, I would love to read you some books.
Yes, you may have some chocolate milk.
Yes, we can go to the park.
Yes, I totally want to see your Pokeman cards and hear about their evolution.
Yes, I do want to take a bath with you and play mermaids.
The kids have been so much more cheerful. I am a little more tired but feel satisfied in at least trying to be a better parent. Who knows how long it will last before I'm ignoring them to take a really important test to find out my hippy name? By then I'm sure I'll be realizing I need to work on some other aspect of this life long journey. I hope in the end our kids know we tried and cared.
Do you ever get caught up in the "no" cycle? How do you stay engaged in your kids lives?