Sometimes, as a parent, our kids ask us things. Things we don't want to do, for whatever reason. Maybe we're not in the mood. Maybe we don't think it will be good for the child. Maybe it is dangerous. Whatever reason, we say no. A lot.
My sister wisely told me that for some of those things one of her sons asks her, she will say yes now instead of no, and his attitude has changed dramatically. I thought she made some really good points, and I decided to try to say yes more to my kids.
Tonight, Lacy has been restless. She has everything on her checklist checked off for bedtime, so she has no real reason to stall us, since everything is done. But she can't sleep. And it's disturbing Dave, who hasn't gotten much sleep this weekend, on account of helping a friend of ours pass an inspection this morning. He worked until 2 am last night, after working a 60 hour work week, and then continued working this morning around 10 until almost 5. She was making a lot of noise, thrashing around, and being disruptive for Dave. She kept asking for things. I kept saying no. Then I thought of what my sister had told me. And I changed my attitude a bit
"Mom... can you say a prayer for me to have good dreams?" (keep in mind, we've already had family prayer and she's said her own personal prayers).
"Okay." I say a prayer, naming specific things that Lacy would like to dream about.
"...and rainbows!" Lacy interjects. "And doggies!" So I add those requests to the current prayer in progress. I finish the prayer. "Thanks, mom. Now I'll have good dreams. Can you snuggle me for a minute?"
"Yes. But just for a minute. I have a few things I have to do." I crawl into her toddler-sized bed, and we snuggle for about five minutes. She tells me a few secrets. She talks about nice things, and asks me some questions. I don't tell her to be quiet, I just let her get it out.
"Okay, Lacy, just another minute and I have to get out."
"I have to pick up some things. We made a mess today, and I want to pick up a little to prepare our home for home blessing hour tomorrow." That's what we call the regular routine cleaning that happens once a week.
"Oh. Can I get in your bed tomorrow when Dad goes to work?" I agree, and we snuggle, I kiss her goodnight and get out of bed, and wait for her to fall asleep so I can get some tidying done. In the meantime, I write this blog. I left the room about ten minutes ago, and she is now breathing loudly. I expect in a couple more minutes she'll be snoring loudly. See what a few yeses can do?