Over the years, we’ve seen many parenting trends come and go. Some have become crucial in our everyday life, while others have proven to be a total waste of time. One of the latest trends which is causing quite a stir is “Yes Day”.
Brought to life by author Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Yes Day encourages parents to say yes to everything their child wants for 24 hours. Even celebrities have given it a go, with actress Jennifer Garner claiming she now uses this method once a year with her children.
If the just the mere thought of having a Yes Day terrifies you, you’re not alone! However, could it really be key to enjoying a more relaxed, fun-packed day? Could it even make you a better parent? Here, you’ll discover everything you need to know about toddler Yes Days and whether they could actually work.
What Is A Yes Day?
The Yes Day concept is designed to encourage parents and children alike to have a full day of fun. As a parent, how often do you find yourself saying the word “No!” to your toddler? Chances are, you say it too many times to keep count!
“Can I have ice cream? No!”
“I want to wear my princess dress to bed – No!”
“I want to watch TV – No!”
The number of times you have to say no to your toddler each and every day can be really frustrating! It’s not just the word ‘No’ which causes stress throughout the day, it’s the battles you end up having because of it! Imagine just how much easier your day might be if you were to replace those No’s with Yes!
In theory, a Yes Day could make your day a lot more fun, less stressful and exciting for your kids. However, before you decide whether or not to give a Yes Day a go, it’s worth assessing the pros and cons.
The Pros And Cons Of A Yes Day
Like all parenting trends, there’s definite pros and cons to giving your toddler a Yes Day. Let’s start with the potential advantages:
- It gives you a chance to be the “fun” parent
- It can significantly reduce stress
- It encourages them to use their imagination
- You could end up having fun too!
When you’re constantly saying no to your toddler, it can often feel like you’re the “bad” parent. This can cause a lot of tension between you and your little one. It can also leave you feeling really frustrated; especially if you have a partner who is always seen as the “fun one”. A Yes Day can therefore give you the opportunity to show your toddler you can be fun too.
They can also be a great stress reliever. So, if tensions are running high and you feel like you’re losing your sanity, a Yes Day could actually be just what you need. You never know, you may even find it fun too. Many families have used the Yes Day to try new things they wouldn’t normally do. Letting go of the rules and just going with the flow for one day can bring many unique and fun opportunities into your life.
Finally, it can encourage your toddler to use their imagination. In this digital world, children spend a lot less time using their imaginations than they used to. With a Yes Day, your little one has to really think about what they want.
So, that’s the potential advantages of a Yes Day, but what about the potential disadvantages? The cons include:
- Your toddler may be too young to grasp the concept
- It may not be realistic
- There’s a chance it could increase stress, not reduce it
Yes Days are all well and good for older children, but they’re a little more difficult to put into practice with a toddler. That’s not to say they’re impossible, but your little one may struggle to fully grasp the concept. Younger toddlers won’t necessarily understand why on some days they can do and have exactly what they want, but then others they can’t. So, parents do need to assess whether their toddler is old enough to grasp what a Yes Day means.
Another major disadvantage of a Yes Day, is that some of the things your toddler requests might not be realistic. At this age, they could end up giving you all kinds of weird requests which really aren’t achievable. Trying to explain why something isn’t realistic to a toddler can be like banging your head consistently against a brick wall. They won’t always get it and that can lead to an epic meltdown!
By far the biggest potential disadvantage of a Yes Day, is that it can actually lead to more, not less, stress. For example, one thing your toddler is sure to want a lot of during Yes Day, is sugar. While just one day of a high-sugar diet won’t necessarily harm your toddler’s health, it could be hazardous for you! The sugar rush that will ultimately follow isn’t going to be easy to deal with. By the time Yes Day is over, you’ll likely feel exhausted and potentially extremely stressed out.
So, there are pros and cons you need to take into account before deciding whether to give Yes Day a try. If you do decide it’s something you’d like to try out, creating a few basic rules for the day could help you to minimize the potential disadvantages.
The Importance Of Yes Day Rules
While the whole point of a Yes Day is to give your children freedom to do whatever they want, obviously there are limits to what you can say yes to. Without a few rules, Yes Days can turn into total disasters!
So, what rules should you have on Yes Days? The most important ones you’ll want to follow include:
- The Yes Day should always be scheduled
- You’ll need to have a spending limit
- Have a distance limit
- A bedtime limit
- At least two balanced meals
The reason you’ll want to schedule a Yes Day, rather than just having an impromptu one, is because you need to make sure you don’t have any other commitments. For example, if you have to get to work but your toddler wants to do something, it could cause two major problems. If you said yes to your toddler, you’d end up late for work. If you said no to your toddler, you’d be essentially breaking the rules of Yes Day. So, always schedule the day in to ensure you can focus solely on your toddler.
It’s also important to set limits of spending, distance and bedtime. Obviously, you don’t have a never-ending budget. So, it’s a good idea to give your toddler a spending limit. Now, toddlers aren’t going to be able to fully understand the concept of money and how much things cost. So, it can be a bit tricky setting a spending limit. It might be best to explain that you may not be able to do some things because you don’t have enough money, but you’ll try your best.
Similarly, having a distance limit is recommended. Otherwise, you could end up with your toddler asking to go to Disneyworld or some other faraway place you can neither afford or have time to get to.
A bedtime limit is crucial. Technically, this is a day your toddler can do whatever they want. However, if you let that roll on until bedtime, it could potentially ruin your routine for the next week, or even month! So, be sure to let your toddler know they can stay up a little later, but there is still a limit there.
Finally, set a rule which ensures your toddler gets at least two decent, balanced meals in the day. They can still have the treats they’ll undoubtedly ask for throughout the day, but that doesn’t mean they can skip healthy meals entirely. Again, this is crucial to ensure the routine isn’t messed up too much after Yes Day has ended. To prevent them getting too full up on treats, limit the quantities provided during the day.
Overall, Yes Days can be great for older kids, but for toddlers they are a little more difficult. It is doable, but many toddlers may not be able to grasp the concept of a Yes Day, or the rules associated with it. Therefore, you may want to wait until they’re a little older before trying out this popular parenting trend!