I am really trying to be more like the yes man (is that a movie or have I dreamt that???). Google is wonderful, its a movie.*
Anyway, I guess I am not quite the yes man, rather I am trying to reside more in the land that exists between “yes” and “no”.
When I am busy in the kitchen instead of “no, I need to cook your tea” (possibly in a mardy voice with a self important, agitated edge) I have asked if little bits of help every now and again are okay. I’ve explained that I can’t do full on helping, but that I would love to be involved as much as possible. I have got them to agree to the terms and conditions.
And I have to say that I feel SO much better about myself.
Before I tried to satisfy my feelings of unease with the idea that children needing to hear “no”. After all they need to learn how to empathise and think logistically. But whatever the truth is, my “no’s” weren’t making me feel good about myself and I felt like I was missing out (on them).
So I have decided that they can learn those things through compromise and from seeing empathy employed by others too. My empathy on hearing of the need for a piece of sellotape to finish off the aeroplane’s wings or a lolly stick for the rotar blades is still empathy. And we are all happier. And if tea is five minutes later sometimes I can live with that.
Essentially there will be plenty of times when they have to be faced with a “no” from me, my husband or the world and I feel so much better for cutting down.
*Two weeks later – this is tiring! And not always realistic (so I have had to remind myself not to feel bad when I “fail”. A “yes” all the time is definitely not realistic or helpful for anyone). But I have been happier cutting down and been more mindful / better at remembering to make it up later. I have also spotted that sometimes an early yes seems to make them content enough to go on and play by themselves for longer.