“No, why?” was my thoughtless response when my son asked me if he could buy a football helmet. I was pretty darned sure he hadn’t developed a sudden interest in football, and I couldn’t think of another reason for him to need one. But when I realized I’d said no before even asking for an explanation, it reminded me of other times I’ve thoughtlessly said no just for convenience’s sake.
It’s a self-protective mechanism, really, a response to many children asking me all sorts of things all day long every single day. In just the past day or two, along with the mysterious helmet request, kids have asked to go the library, and to the midnight movie. Two kids wanted sleepovers. A couple of others wanted to play games. There were hankerings for pizza, cookies, and root beer floats. One kid wanted to skip the biology test, and another wanted to take his test two days early. And those were just the requests I remember.
Nearly every request takes a chunk of time out of my day. In interest of keeping the chaos manageable, I’ve gotten into the habit of saying no to most ideas that deviate from our usual daily plan.
But somehow that helmet request made me question that habit. Yes, it’s simpler. But it’s not fun for the kids. In the case of my son and the helmet, my response shut him down without hearing what was on his mind. And that’s the last thing I want to do. I want to be a listening mom, and as much as possible I also want to be a ‘Yes’ mom. I’ll never be a pushover — it’s just not me. But I’m going to try to get better at the ‘yes’ word, even if the thing will inconvenience me or make a mess or cause me to rearrange my day. Sometimes the yes will need to be, ‘yes, after dinner’ or ‘yes, let’s go on Saturday’, but I want my kids to be able to remember that word coming out of my mouth.
I went back and asked my son about the football helmet request. His reason? His 17yo sister is doing her student driving now, and he’s feeling nervous and out of control while riding in the car with her. Hm. Kinda sounds like the way I feel when my kids have ideas for ways to spend my day. I guess there are lots of times in life when we need to relinquish control and trust that God has our life in His hands. Wish me wisdom and discernment as I try to say yes more often!Pin It