saying yes to your kids

The 1-Week Yes Challenge

Almost daily, two of my boys ask this question: “Dad, do you have time to throw the football around?” It’s to the point that it’s predictable. I know when they’re going to ask. And when they do, I have an intentional and important choice to make: to say either YES or NO. And it’s not always as easy of a choice as one might think it should be.

Is it just me, or do our kids seem to ask to be with us at the most inconvenient times? It’s always when we’re busy doing important things like, you know, adulting and such. If you ever find yourself struggling to say yes to your children as I do, here are a few things I try to keep in mind that help shape my perspective and response.

I try to remember what it was like being a kid…

…and how important it was to me when my parents said yes to my requests and prioritized me with their time.

I stop and remember my priorities.

No matter what I’m doing when my kids approach me, if I’m honest, it probably doesn’t have nearly the long-term impact or importance as those moments I can choose to spend with my child.

I remind myself not to believe the lie that…

… “I still have plenty of time.” Kids grow up in the blink of an eye. And I don’t want to regret having passed up on a single opportunity that I could have invested more into them.

The act of saying yes to your kids will impact your relationship and the closeness they feel toward you.

So here’s a “YES” challenge for you.

Are you ready for it? See if you can go the next seven days, one week, without saying no to your children when they specifically make any request for your time or attention. In fact, you are going to intentionally say yes to your kids as much as possible, dropping whatever it is that would keep you from giving them your time. This act of saying yes to your kids will impact your relationship and the closeness they feel toward you.

It sounds easy, but you actually might find it to be harder than you think. You’ll say yes…

– Every time they want to play ball in the back yard.
– Every time they ask you to look at a project.
– Every time they ask for your help.
– Every time they want to talk or for you simply to listen.
– Every time they reach for a hug.
– Every time they ask you to tuck them in.
– Every time they want more of you.
– Every. Single. Time.

Will it be hard? Probably. Will it inconvenience you? Yes. Will it be worth it? Absolutely.

Sound off: Are you willing to commit to the one week YES Challenge?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are your top three priorities?”