Pizza for breakfast. Stay up late. Fill the grocery cart with all the sugary cereals you want. It’s Yes Day. The sky is the limit. The book written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, is a favorite of kids. Everything desired is granted. The best kind of day is Yes day.
This year, we made my daughter’s birthday Yes Day. We made tents. We had cheeseballs for breakfast and a chocolate milk stand complete with whipped cream. We transformed the deck into a playroom. Her favorite fall asleep outside accessories were ready. Requests were granted. It’s was her day of celebration.
We did have a real birthday party two days before. Officially her birthday was on the day we designated as YES day. Two days before we invited 9 friends to join us for a sack race, parachute time, bubbles, and a musical parade which included handmade tambourines, birthday blowers, and hats. We ate chocolate frosting on yellow cake and cheese pizza.
“My girls’ first party.” one mom said.
“Yes, and pretty hometown and simple.” I replied.
“That is as it should be” she answered.
Yeah! to that mom. For she knew that the best “yes” and the “Wows” of birthdays are simple and inexpensive.
I have been pondering some of the times I have said Yes to my children. I say Yes at times when they are holding a trinket from China in the dollar store. Yes, you can have chocolate milk before dinner. Yes, you can watch that DVD. Yes, you can have two juice boxes. Yes, you can jump on the bed..Yes, I will say no when needed. Yes, at times I need to practice “No” more often.
There is something called a Yes Bank. The parent keeps track of the number of times “Yes”, is said so that when the child gets a “No” it is more easily accepted. Perhaps it’s a way of reminding your child to count their blessings. I’ve tried this on my children. One day, my son threw a fit because he did not have a rubber ducky for his bath. I lined up 15 different toys in his possession. I asked him to pick one that he could enjoy right there and then. It worked miraculously. It was his turn to count his blessings and wait to see if his desire continued to exist or was it just an ” in the moment I want.” We want and then we want something else.
Yes Day is most appreciated because the kid in the story knows, that this is a special day. In fact, all other days on his calendar are understood as Not in a million years, and Over my dead body, He understands “No Language ” perfectly! So when that special miracle of miracles of a Yes Day comes, he is making careful choices of what to do to celebrate.
The trouble in our real world is that Yes Day is overblown. Yes Day is everyday. Yes Days are the norm. Yes always and No almost never leads to”must be bigger, better, and more days.: Yes Days are leading up to “I deserve the best always and only the best.” Yes Day everyday is building up to possible financial debt and a serious epidemic entitlement.
It starts at a young age. Kids gets a yes or the threat of a tantrum. The parent is their best friend and giving in to everything. The parent works to please the child instead of the other way around. It’s everywhere. It’s the “I’m first, that’s mine, I deserve it, I have arrived, It’s all about me” molding of entitlement. It is at school, at play, at church, -it’s everywhere.
Adults face the same “It’s all about Me” – “I deserve it” mentality as well. A well known adult Financial Guru tells others to save the YESes for later. Often he advises to save them for years later until you can truly appreciate and control your Yeses Saving up nurtures that appreciation. Ironically, his advice has led him to great financial success which mean wait, work, and being intentional. Sometimes that means a NO. Mr. Ramsey shows no signs of entitlement. Ever hear how he answers every “How are you?”
“Better than I deserve.” is the answer.
I do not wish to crush the self esteem of my children with No’s. I wish to build their self assurance. I do not wish to spoil them with too many Yeses so that they are more Brats then Babes. I wish to teach them appreciation and gratitude. I do not wish to build this “I deserve it all” attitude. I must build an attitude of giving because they have been so blessed.
“Does this day have to end? ” the boy asks his father. This is the one Yes that may be hard to accept. Yet, even back to the “Not in a million year”s days, the boy remembers with appreciation and looks forward to the next Yes Day. It doesn’t mean there will never be any more Yeses ever. There will be some but balanced with some “No, not this time” or even some “No not evers.” Whether the right intentional Yes, or the waiting and rejecting No, we avoid the entitlement epidemic and take the path of betterment of a person that we deserve.