Parenting

Just Say Yes: The Secret To Parenting A Toddler!

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Being a mother has made me realize just how selfish I truly am. It is so easy for me to get swept up in my to-do lists that I rush through, and in my rushing to accomplish my tasks, I miss important moments in my son’s life.

Last year we attended a wedding and happened to be seated next to a family therapist at the reception. I asked her for her number one piece of advice for parenting a toddler, and she simply responded, “say yes as much as possible.” She gave the example, “yes, you may have dessert…as soon as you finish your dinner.” The idea is that “yes” promotes a longer-lasting positive foundation. I treasured this advice and still remind myself often.

Related: Stress-Free Parenting!

I’ve always said I’m pretty sure Tristan is already 80 years old. At 19 months, he loves to imitate whatever Peter and I happen to be doing. Most recently, he’s been very excited about washing his hands, and wants to practice at the most inconvenient times. This is when I practice saying yes.


Yes, Love, let’s wash your hands, too.

Yes, Tristan, you can help me with the dishes. Thank you!

Yes, you can help me make pancakes.

Yes, you may brush your teeth now (another recent skill he enjoys practicing).

None of these are convenient, but I  am choosing to remember that this is how he wants to spend time with me, and this is how he learns. I want him to remember that I welcomed him to live life with me and I find joy in spending time with him, no matter the activity.

Say yes today, friends.

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