Yes Day!

In the last few months, I’ve heard myself saying “NO” to my kids more often than I’d like to admit. That also means that my kids are also hearing no a lot and that can feel defeating to parents and kids equally. Sometimes the word no is the appropriate response. But there are plenty of times when a no is out of habit versus necessity.

YES Day! is a children’s book written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. In 2021, the uniquely fun storyline was adapted into a family comedy film and the book and film have certainly gained a following with families looking for a change to their daily norms.

Reset Your Mama Mouth

My reason for a YES Day was to reset my mama mouth and reconnect with my kids in a way that we could all value: quality time and giggles. It turns out that there were far more benefits than I could have ever anticipated.

 

Start Small

If you’re still on the fence, you can ease yourself into a YES Day by starting with a YES morning or afternoon. You can even get creative with a theme like YES Day: Outdoor Edition. Houston has some wonderful family-centered activities so check out some new parks or grab some treats at a food truck.

Ground Rules

If you’re ready to give your first YES Day a try, here are a few rules to ensure your day runs smoothly:

Before you relinquish all control for the day (just kidding…kind of), make sure to discuss a few ground rules with your kids.

  • Pick a date on the calendar for your official YES Day but let your kids earn their special day.
  • Pick a weekday, holiday or extended break rather than a school or work day.
  • The YES DAY is just that – one day. You can decide if that means the day end at bedtime or when the clock strikes midnight but make it clear.
  • Requests can’t be harmful, illegal or dangerous.
  • Work together to clean up any messes when you YES Day is done.
  • Set a budget and any travel restrictions
  • No future requests – All activities must happen on your actual YES Day.
  • Everyone has to participate in the crazy, silly fun!
  • Come up with a fun consequence if the adults say no to a request.

 

Notes for mom & dad

Prepare

Prepare for the best YES Day starting with a good attitude and maybe an extra cup of caffeine. Your kids might enjoy doing multiple craft projects so have the glue, construction paper and YES, glitter, ready.

Sticky, smiley science experiments are also a favorite so be prepared to get messy. You might also look forward to having a movie marathon with endless snacks, dessert for breakfast or nap time in a tent in the backyard.

Whatever the request, remember the purpose: time and connection with your kids. So start practicing your enthusiastic YES now and enjoy retiring the word no for a day.

Reward YOURSELF

And adults, as a reward for your unwavering commitment to a YES Day for your Kids, treat yourself to a YES Day: Adult Edition! Same rules apply: one day only, watch out for injuries and keep an eye on the budget. But other than that, tap into your inner child and say YES to yourself or your partner. Eat your favorite snacks all day, splurge a little on self-care, or agree to one big yes each between you and your partner.

It’s About Connection

During our YES Day, my kids indulged in junk food but they also stopped when the excitement of freedom wore off. I’m still finding glitter in random places from our endless crafting but some of them were put in the memory box. The day gave my kids the freedom of choice and authority while also teaching them how to use it wisely and fairly. And I truly enjoyed going with the flow and not having to plan a day full of activities.

My kids still talk about our YES Day activities and enjoy talking about all of the things they’re going to do on the next one. Believe it or not, I’m actually looking forward to the next YES Day, too.

yes day adventures

Here are some great ideas to get you started on your own YES Day itinerary!

Let each child go wild with a small shopping spree that works with your budget.

The Dollar Tree, Five Below and Target’s Dollar Spot are great options.

For more ‘Earth Friendly’ Healthy alternatives, see below:

Visit a Farm/Ranch

Visit a Farmer’s Market

  • City Hall Farmers Market
  • Urban Harvest Farmers Market
  • Houston Farmer’s Market on Airline
  • Houston Farmers Market at Rice Village
  • Hedwig Village Farmer’s Market

Visit a Park/ garden

Camryn Wells is a native Houstonian, published children’s book author and spoken word artist. When she isn’t playing with words, Camryn and her husband, Adam, are busy raising their two young children. Monroe is their six year old son and the inspiration for her book, What Color Is Your Day? Yuna is their three year old daughter who – fun fact – shares her birthday with Camryn! Camryn enjoys hot yoga, themed parties and festivals of all kind.

FB: @colorfeelplayseries/camrynwells

IG: @camrynwellsauthor

Twitter: @camrynwells

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