[00:00:00] Speaker A: You.
[00:00:04] Speaker B: Welcome to the empowered to connect podcast, where we come together to discuss a healing centered approach to engagement and wellbeing for ourselves, our families, and our communities. I'm JD Wilson, and I am your host. And today in the show, we throw back to an episode talking about the power of saying yes. This is episode 31, back from 2021, and we talk about the Yesday movie that at the time had just debuted on Netflix with Jennifer Garner.
It's a great, I would say, abstract view of how we would view yes days and the principle of the power of saying yes. But we wanted to revisit this conversation because we're going to be talking a little bit more this spring about nurture. We talked through in January and kind of the beginning of the year talking about structure and discipline. And so we're going to shift and talk a little bit more about nurture in these next few episodes. And so we thought, what better way to kick this off than by reframing kind of one of our principal ways of giving nurture, which is through the power of saying yes. So please enjoy now a special replay of episode 31 from the etc. Podcast, which is the power of saying yes with me, mo and Tana Odinger.
[00:01:29] Speaker C: Well, it is Modinger, Tana Odinger and I, and we are here today to talk about yeses and the power of saying yes and yes days. We were waiting for Jennifer Garner to jump on. She's not come yet. We'll catch her whenever she comes. Just kidding. She's not coming on here. But if you've opened Netflix in the last, I don't know, month or so, you have probably seen advertisements for the movie the yes day. And I know that those of you who have been around for a long time, around, etc.
I got a lot of texts. I'm sure you guys did, too, like, oh my God, etc. Made a movie and Jennifer Garner is in.
No. You know, maybe that was a blown opportunity on our part. Maybe we should have been thinking about making a blockbuster, like Hollywood film long ago. We did not do that.
[00:02:15] Speaker D: No, we did not.
We missed that ship. It has sailed.
[00:02:21] Speaker C: Just a slightly different budget than we were able to pull off.
But I will say we were pleasantly surprised. I watched the movie a little bit hesitantly, kind of almost cringing, like, all right, where is this going to get twisted and turned? And it wasn't. It was a good know, kind of like safe movie for your kids to watch. Jennifer Garner is super likable. The family, I felt like it was a good portrayal that had to be kind of spiced up for Hollywood.
None of us, like my wife and I, mo and Tana, none of us have gotten arrested during a yesterday, I guess I have to say yet, because we plan on doing more yes days and who knows in the future. But we've never been arrested during a yes day, nor has our house been overtaken by foam. But a lot of the principles that were talked about in there, odly enough, are deep seated foundational, etc. Principles. And so we felt like it was a good opportunity moment for us to circle back and talk about sort of the deeper meaning behind this principle of either a yes day or really comes down to the power, the privilege of parents to say yes to their kids. And why do we need to do that? So I'll kind of start the conversation this way. Obviously, when we begin having conversations about connected parenting, attachment center parenting, trust based parenting, all of those worlds, one of the most immediate critiques that pops up is, oh, God, this is just permissive hippie parenting. We just let your kids do whatever they want, and you just sit by and don't do anything. You don't discipline your kids, nothing like that. That really is foundational to our first day of class, when we do our parent training classes, where we introduce the idea of balancing nurture and structure. And so for the sake of just kind of setting a foundation and some context here, mo, would you mind talking about that balance of nurture and structure and why that's so important as we just begin to think about our parenting approach?
[00:04:26] Speaker A: Absolutely.
I think just to keep with the yes, we always kind of say the nurture is the yes and the structure is the no's. And our kids need a balance of both.
And that is.
So they need boundaries, obviously, for development. They need to know, as Tina Payne Bryson said, to feel seen, safe, soothed and secure.
They need that.
So that is imperative.
But the nurture side needs to be equally in balance. And so the yes day often kind of shows us the imbalance of that for many of us, that we can err one way or the other.
[00:05:28] Speaker D: One of the things I liked about the movie, and we won't do many spoilers here, we'll attempt to not do the spoilers. If you haven't seen it yet, but.
[00:05:38] Speaker A: Say yes a lot, that would be the only spoiler over the course.
[00:05:41] Speaker C: I already gave two spoilers. Sorry.
[00:05:43] Speaker D: Okay, we'll jump around the edges of the spoilers from this point on. But one thing, there was a couple of things I loved one, the mom, Jennifer Garner, she's saying no a lot. I mean, that's just the premise of the movie. And a couple of times she's like, but this is just parenting. This is just parenting. And I so deeply resonated with that. We are and need to, to be good parents, we have to set structure and boundaries up. That is part of what it means to show up as a parent is to set up structure and boundaries.
But we often. I don't know about you all, but we often, I often. Man can just fall into that trap of like, the first word out of my mouth is no. And it's necessary sometimes, but likely not as often as we say it. And the other thing about the movie that resonates deeply in our family, and I'm guessing for the majority of our listeners, if they're parenting with a partner or they're not just single parenting, but they're parenting with someone else, is the good cop bad cop situation. And how that triangle and that dynamic can take root in a family where one person maybe more naturally leans towards sort of being more nurturing and one might more naturally lead towards being more structured. And our kids, I would say all kids. And then I would say especially kids who have experienced any kind of trauma or loss or disruption, really desperately need each caregiver to be a balance in and of themselves. Like, as a mom, I need to show up as a balance of nurture and structure on my own, apart from whatever mo is doing. And mo needs to show up as a dad as a balance of nurture and structure, apart from whatever I'm doing. It cannot be good cop, bad cop pit against mom and dad. That doesn't work. It doesn't build trust. It doesn't feel safety.
It allows kids to triangulate and sort of pit mom and dad against each other. It just doesn't set up a healthy communication and trust building cycle in a. So, you know, the movie highlighted that. And that's kind of the beauty of a balance and nurture and structure.
[00:08:11] Speaker A: Yeah. And we say at etc. That we want to say yes when we can and no when we have.
It's funny, I feel like in so much like the movie, I feel like I was always a yes guy.
And I feel like I've gone through seasons as a parent where I like, I am just a no guy.
It's just reevaluating of this. And that's the beauty of the yes day. And I think the eye opening part of a yes day is across the board when we have families do this. And just for me personally, when you come away from a day of doing yeses, you realize I say no.
I feel like nine out of ten times because it inconvenienced me. And I don't want to say yes.
I just say no because that's just the easiest thing to do.
I think that's always the takeaway for me is when I'm really conscious of that, I realize that, man, I'm really out of whack, that somehow I've gotten lazy, I've gotten tired, I've gotten whatever it is, whatever's going on in my world. And just the easiest thing is no.
And the beauty of the yes day is it kind of shows you that it helps you recalibrate.
[00:09:49] Speaker C: Yeah. Well, I know the moment in the movie that I resonated with really deeply was when Jennifer Garner is talking about, I used to be such a yes person. I was always yes. And it shows her in her younger days, just being spontaneous and going on adventures and doing fun stuff all the time. And that's how their relationship had progressed before they got married.
They were great. And then it shows them kind of settled into parenthood. And he's like a risk management attorney for a company that makes gadgety, kind of like kid toys or whatever.
And it just shows her saying no so much. And that moment, I felt like the washed up fun guy so much. In our family, our kids will see pictures or dumb videos of me doing ridiculous things from before they were around. And, I mean, there have been moments where they're like, why aren't you fun anymore? Why don't you do fun stuff anymore? And when we started into know right out of the gate, the homework for us was to have a yes day. Now, the book or the movie talks about this book by Amy Crossrosenthal called the yes day. And it's kind of a kids book that Jennifer Garner had read to her kids, and she started doing yes days.
[00:11:16] Speaker A: The etc.
[00:11:17] Speaker C: Yes day has nothing to do with that.
And it's much more based in just being a parental practice that you are doing for your own observation that you are trying to chart out, okay, why am I saying no? And can I work on breaking that habit of giving the automatic no's and then figuring out how I can give yeses and how I can also try to keep from killing my kids spirit when I have to give no's? And just one story from ours. Now, I will say this was y'all's advice to us before we did it the first time. And we have given the same advice and we have continued this, but we have always done sneak attack.
[00:11:57] Speaker D: Yes.
[00:11:57] Speaker C: Days. And they have been covert. Our kids do not know when they're coming. Our kids do not know that they're happening.
That is one big difference in this, is that you might watch a movie and be like, oh, yeah, definitely not. And you might have a personality where you might have a visceral reaction to telling your kids that and then trying to gear that might be a psychological nightmare for you. So just know when we talk about it at etc. It is much lower key. But I can vividly remember our kids woke up, and I looked at Elizabeth. I thought, did you say to the kids that we're having yesterday? Because they walked in the room, we're like, can we look at donuts this morning?
And I just looked over and I was like, I don't want to get dressed and drive out there, and it's unhealthy, and y'all are going to be crazy. And immediately, I could see the bullet points of me just being a grinch about it and living in the future and deciding that this is a terrible idea before I even gave it the opportunity for it to be a fun experience for us.
You know what? It was not a bad experience. I had no reason to be a grinch. Them sharing some power with them and giving them the opportunity to kind of feel some spontaneous control, like, can we get donuts? We can. Are you serious? Yes. Okay, great. And we went and got donuts, and we sat there, and this is when we could eat inside of places. Just sat there and crushed donuts. And all of us felt so full and sugar crashed after. And we went on a walk afterward in the park and went to the playground and hung out. And so later on, there was a request for ice cream for lunch. And what we said was like, hey, you know what? We love ice cream.
That would be great after we get something else in our bellies. If we have donuts for breakfast and then ice cream for lunch, we might actually just explode. And so why don't we pick out what we want to get, and we'll go ahead and get it from the store, put it in the freezer, and then later on, after we eat some good stuff to kind of fill ourselves back up, then we'll have some ice cream. And so that was a principle that you guys kind of talked to Tana in our class. We call it the yes sandwich. Will you kind of talk about that and explain sort of why we go through?
[00:14:14] Speaker D: Sure. And so I love the example you just gave because it's basically, well, it's kind of a little trickery. It's a little parental trickery. And I don't know about you all, but I don't really enjoy hearing no.
I personally don't like to be told no. I don't think really anybody does. I think if you ask somebody something and the first thing you hear is no, I think the brain just shuts down. Certain parts of the brain light up. There's something very relational and biological and connected about being told no and how we receive it. And so I feel like when our kids come to us and place a request, whether it's a want or a need or an idea or a dream or a desire or a compromise or anything, they're taking a tiny bit of a risk there because they're trusting us with something on their mind.
And how we proceed can make or break some relational connection and some trust.
So celebrating that request or that ask can be done even if you need to say no. So mo kind of said, like, one of our practices is say yes when you can and no when you need to. And sometimes kids need to be told no, and you simply can't make x, y, and z happen. Or for your example, JD, they didn't need to eat ice cream again right then. But you didn't say, oh, my goodness, kids, you had sugar for breakfast. You know, you shouldn't have sugar twice a day. We can't have sugar for lunch? No, we're going to eat something healthy. And you know that sugar causes cavities. And what, are you so ungrateful?
[00:16:06] Speaker C: We just got you donuts, and now you want ice cream?
[00:16:09] Speaker D: No. You meet them with just kindness and curiosity and celebration.
[00:16:16] Speaker A: So instead of shaming them, you're celebrating.
[00:16:20] Speaker D: Yeah.
[00:16:20] Speaker A: You're like two totally different responses.
[00:16:22] Speaker D: Totally like ice cream. I love me some ice cream. Wouldn't ice cream be good? What's your favorite kind of ice cream? Oh, mom, I like this and this and this, and like, oh, ice cream is delicious. I'll tell you what let's do. How about we see how fast we can eat our healthy lunch, and then we'll get our ice cream. Do you want to scoop, or do you want me to? I mean, you're just kind of. You're saying yes to say no, even if it's deferred. Sometimes the deferred answer needs to be further off. So it could be a situation where a kid asks to go to the store, and it's a school night, and, you know, bedtime's coming, and you can't run to target to look at the latest video game that came out or something. If you have a teenager or a tween and you're like, sweetie, I'm so glad you asked. I know that's been on your mind. Tell me more about that game. And you just kind of let them tell you all about the latest Xbox game they're excited about. And then you, oh, show me a video of them. You're just curious and connected around the video game. And then you say, I'll tell you what, let's talk about Saturday, and let's look at the schedule on Saturday. And let's see what time on Saturday we can run to target and go write it on the calendar and tell them yes by deferring the yes to another day rather than what I think very naturally and understandably so comes out of our mouth, which is so do we can't do that tonight, right? And then it's like so deflated and there's no hope. So I really do think a lot about what does it mean to have hope deferred and what does it mean as a parent to sort of allow your kids to have hope deferred and then follow through and follow through and follow through. And that builds trust. So you're getting to say yes tonight. We're going Saturday. You get to say yes on Saturday when you follow through. And you get to do it with some joy and delight.
Dan Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson has a little acronym, and I love his acronym. So I'll just say this real quick because it kind of follows through with that. But it's called part is the acronym part. And it's very much in line with what we're saying. Like the yes sandwich kind of thing. But it's p, you're present for the request. So they've asked for ice cream and you are present in being curious with them. A, you're attuned to the feelings behind the request, meaning. That sounds so great. I bet you love ice cream, don't you? Oh, I love ice cream, too.
[00:18:49] Speaker C: And you're showing that you understand kind of where they're coming from with that.
[00:18:53] Speaker D: Yeah, totally.
[00:18:54] Speaker A: Which, if I can just say that, is often why we say no, because we're not present for the request. We are not, man. What's behind the question? Totally.
[00:19:04] Speaker D: Yeah.
[00:19:04] Speaker A: Like if we're thinking about, right, we're on our phone, we're watching a game or whatever, and it's like an interruption. And we are not fully attuned to what they are asking and present for that. And it is just flippantly sending them off.
I think that's really good.
[00:19:26] Speaker D: Yeah. That attunement part.
[00:19:28] Speaker A: You're present, you're attuned, you're resonating with it.
What's the word?
[00:19:38] Speaker C: Yeah, you're just affirming this is a cool, reasonable request. This is cool.
[00:19:43] Speaker A: Tell me more. Tell me more. Yeah.
[00:19:46] Speaker D: And then the t of that is it builds trust.
[00:19:48] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:19:48] Speaker D: And it does.
We have been practicing. Let me say one thing. For us, switching to being more of a yes framed family was a major paradigm shift. It was a serious paradigm shift. And we'll talk in a few minutes about some strategies you can use to shift that paradigm, like some things you can implement to sort of shift that. But what ended up happening is after you do get the practice of reframing how to even. It takes practice. It is very unnatural for most of us to practice saying yes or to say yes. Then you can say something to a kid like, hey, sweetie, you know, if mom could say yes to that, I would. I wish I could.
[00:20:36] Speaker A: Right.
[00:20:37] Speaker D: And so can we kind of come up with a plan? Because that's not going to be something we can do tonight. And what happens for kiddos who struggle to hear no and receive no and no hurts them or is touching something deep inside of them from their past or there's any number of reasons why we could think about no might be hard to receive.
[00:21:04] Speaker A: Yeah.
[00:21:05] Speaker D: You have a kiddo that has a hard time receiving no.
I think it's logical to think, oh, well, they need practice hearing no and then they're going to be able to receive no with more resilience.
[00:21:16] Speaker A: Right.
[00:21:17] Speaker D: Well, it's the exact opposite of that. A kiddo that has a hard time hearing no, they do need the support to get through it if they have to hear it and it's hard. So walk them through that disappointment in a supportive way. But actually what they need is to hear yes more.
And then their window of tolerance is wider because mom and dad have been saying yes and now they need to hear no and they've got a window of tolerance for it. They have some relational capacity for it. They are exhausted by all the helicoptering, knowing they've been getting, and there's trust there. And you can even very gently remind them, baby, if I could say yes, I would say yes with so much delight, I'm going to have to say no this time. Can you trust me in that? And let's figure out a plan.
[00:22:06] Speaker A: Yeah.
Well, because they've used their voice so often, our kiddos are having to learn how to use their voice. And like you said earlier, every time they come to us asking, requesting whether it's a want or a need.
For many of our kiddos, that is a big step.
And so being attuned and being present and engaging, you're building the trust that when the no has to come, like you said, there's greater capacity because of what you've grown in them.
[00:22:55] Speaker C: Well, and one thing that I didn't really connect with this early on is kind of not coaxing, but teaching your kids, building in them the need to use their voice with trusted adults to get their needs met directly, then translates into using their voice to get their needs met with other adults in their lives as they're growing up and then peers as well.
The end result is hopefully adult who has grown up with this ability to express their voice, have their needs met, and to see, this is a good thing, I can do this. And when I do use my voice, here's the results of it. And so the idea initially seems like it stifles independence and you're killing their spirit. They're never going to understand how to hear no if you do this. In fact, it's the exact opposite building. When I know how to use my words to get my needs met, and I know that there are trusted adults that have my back, that are watching out for me, that when they can, they do meet those needs.
Once my brain comes back to maturity and gets to a place where I can reason well, I get to see the full picture of knowing why yeses come and why no's come and when yeses come and when no's come, how to handle those things. And so I heard this week, trying to non personalize this, but an educator in one of our kids lives, like just praising that kid for always speaking up and asking to clarify questions and pre connected parenting me would have gone, well, yeah, that's kind of how my wife is. Of course that kid takes after her. And in actuality, no. They're learning to use their voice and they're using that voice and they are masterfully doing so. And now they're beginning to wade out into bigger waters and use it in a scarier way. Like, it's a little bit scarier to do that in a public setting where you're not sure if a teacher or principal or whoever will listen to your voice. But that's a powerful tool to have.
We mentioned, kind know, old friend of the show, our best friend, Tina Bryson and Dan and their book, all of their books speak to this principle in some form or fashion, but they wrote a book called the S Brain, which is where the acronym came from.
Any other thoughts on the brain side of this? And just as we move into sort of the strategies for how to sort of shift into being more of a yes. Household. Any last thoughts on kind of the why behind that? And then let's talk about some strategy.
[00:26:07] Speaker D: I mean, I.
It's. It's interesting because thinking back, I mean, it's. It's funny when you've got to, like, stop for a minute and reflect backwards, which really is kind of what has been interesting about thinking about what happened when we started making this major shift, because it is legitimately a significant shift for many families to think, oh, it's actually developmentally beneficial for us to support our kids brain growth by framing things in a positive way that it isn't making permissive kids, it's making resilient kids. It's expanding a window of tolerance. It's strengthening their stress response. It's building resilient brains. Like, it's developing trust, which is a building block for resilience. So, actually finding that balance of nurture and structure is really about being the kind of parent that knows when to do what your kid needs. And kids who feel seen safe, soothed, become secure. And so it is about brain development and child development and relational development and trust development and embracing the power of positivity. I mean, I know that may sound like woo woo is not. We don't have to be negative Nellie to be good parents, and there's just beauty in helping our kids have a positive mom and dad. And, look, I don't know that Mo and I, we didn't know this would come, but it brought joy back to us personally and as a couple and as a some.
I don't know, maybe. Would you say despair?
I mean, there was some despair early on when we were sort of reframing things, but going, oh, as a parent, we could say yes, and we can respond, yes, we have permission to give our kids permission to do some things that we thought you were supposed to say no to.
Oh, we don't have to say no to all the things we thought had to be no.
[00:28:42] Speaker A: Well, this is so small. This is almost so trivial. But we even have an article on our website about being a band Aid dad. But, like, bandaids, right?
My kids always ask for bandaids. They would show you what they thought was this massive scratch on their hand, and you couldn't see anything, but they wanted to band Aid on it. Bandaids always made it feel better. And, like, me being the pragmatic one, I'm sitting here going, man, that is a $13 box of bandaids.
They are so expensive.
[00:29:23] Speaker C: Costco. It's a Costco bandaid.
[00:29:25] Speaker A: Let's stop getting those ones with characters on it because they're more expensive. We're just going to get the plain bandaids because we were going through bandaids so much. But they always ask for a band aid on something. But again, for me to be able to say yes, if you want 30 bandaids on you, you can have 30 band aids. Let's just do it. Yes.
For those of you that are listening, you might think, man, that is really dumb. But I was definitely one that was very pragmatic when it came to, hey, babe, I don't think you need a band Aid.
I would say no on bandaids.
As we began to make this shift, I was like, I can say yes to bandaids. Like, we will budget $30 a month for bandaids. We can do this. But there's so much more to that, right? Like, my child, I am able to say yes. I am able to show compassion. I am able to meet a need to give care, and they're able to put bandaids on me. They're learning how to show empathy and compassion and all those things. Like, there is this give and take.
They are distraught, and I am slowing down. I am with them, and I'm meeting that need. And so it's much deeper than bandaids and all that. But that is just a simple, like, I really was. Like, I was the Band aid. No more band aids. We're rationing those.
There's resources about our band aids, and that is even one of our exercises in our parenting classes around bandaids.
But that was part of.
Yeah, I mean, the yes day was kind of our first. When we went through this, however many years ago, ten years ago, having to do our first yes day, that was the eye opener for us, was for us to realize how often we said no.
I tell anybody, any parent, you watch the movie and you're like, man, don't. Whoa, we can't do that.
Here's the beauty of the yes day, is that it's going to show you.
I mean, I bet you 80% of my no's were. I didn't need to say no.
[00:31:45] Speaker C: Trivial, right?
[00:31:46] Speaker A: Yeah, our day was crazy. My kids are like, let's go to the farmers market. And I'm like, that's 45 minutes away.
That wasn't scheduled. And we're at the farmers market. And my kids are buying pumpkins and they're buying flowers.
All those things. I'm like, yeah, let's do it, let's do it.
But we had a blast.
We basically toured the city that day and did all kind of fun things and went to a museum. And it was just really fun.
[00:32:21] Speaker D: The first one you did, the first.
[00:32:22] Speaker A: One we did, and I'll never forget.
[00:32:24] Speaker D: We came home thinking, oh, man, we just did it yesterday.
[00:32:29] Speaker A: We did it. But we used to have a long driveway and the mail truck came, and one of my kids, who was little, said, dad, I want to go get the mail.
I used to say no to that. Like, no, don't go out by the street. We live on a busy street. No. And I was like, yeah, yes, you can, and I'm going to walk with you. And I hopped up, and then we're walking back and my kid says, dad, can we sleep in the pop up.
[00:32:54] Speaker C: Camper tonight in the driveway, which, can.
[00:32:57] Speaker D: I say, was not currently set up when that request was made, parked on the back 40, closed up.
[00:33:04] Speaker C: And you immediately checked your watch to see if yesterday had expired yet? Totally.
[00:33:11] Speaker A: Of course, I slept in a camper that night, but I think it was just being able to connect with my kids. But it recalibrated me. It began to show me, like, man, mo, you say no. A and really for no good reason, I need to recalibrate.
[00:33:37] Speaker D: Some of my favorite communications from people that have gone through the etc. Parent class has been like the Saturday when they're doing the yes day. I mean, we'll just get pictures of people all over the city, their kids dressed as ballerinas, walking through the zoo in high heels, just like all the fun.
I'll just say there have been a few puppy dogs. I do think some people have said yes to the past.
We do not take responsibility for that.
[00:34:09] Speaker A: Well, I think in those instances, the kids have been asking, they've been saying no, and they were to that place where they were ready to say yes, and it gave them an opportunity.
[00:34:20] Speaker D: So I'll say a couple of quick little, just caveats kind of around yesterday. So for those of you all that are thinking maybe it would be fun to do again, don't tell your kids it's coming. That's not something we would recommend. And just wake up and be curious about if you have kids that they just are not used to asking you for something because they're going to assume you say no. Or like, that just isn't the way the family rhythm happens on Saturdays. You can say something like, hey, sweetie, what do you want to do today? Well, I'm going to try to say yes to whatever you want to do and prompt them a little bit and kind of give them some ideas. I will say, and I would say this would be true for one or two of our kids, and lots of families will say, well, I have a kid that just never asks for anything.
And I think that is an important and needed observation.
If the kiddo is not placing requests, why aren't they?
And how can you support them in coming up with a day where they might feel like they can get their needs met in a different kind of way? So if they're just not used to being directive or asking or prompting what they want, then you can prompt them.
[00:35:41] Speaker C: Yeah, sort of like a scaffolding. We talk about where you kind of help them to. So it's probably you leading some asking or asking some leading questions and prompting.
[00:35:49] Speaker D: We're going to go out for breakfast. Where do you want to go?
Because they would never say, can we go to get donuts for breakfast?
[00:35:56] Speaker C: Right.
[00:35:58] Speaker D: And you can even give choices, like, if they kind of freeze up.
We have had some families say that their kids have actually dysregulated and have gotten maybe a bit out of sorts and somewhat out of control.
And I think that's also an important observation because it shows that what just happened there is mom and dad changed the rules of the game, and kiddo was feeling some insecurity or anxiety or, this isn't what we know. And so mom and dad just started saying yes. So just be conscientious and careful.
[00:36:40] Speaker C: That's the reason behind not when you do the Yesday movie deal and you're like, we're having a yes day. There's a few guidelines. We can do whatever you want. One, you got to have a big bankroll behind you for all those requests. But two, that doesn't work for every family in every situation and every kid. And so that is one of the reasons that you want to ramp. Like you want an on ramp to yes day. You can't just skydive for yesterday right out of the gate.
[00:37:14] Speaker D: You could say, we're going to go anywhere you want to eat for breakfast. We're going to go do a fun activity in the afternoon, and then we're going to do whatever you want tonight. I mean, you can put some parameters around it if you need to sort of prompt your kids. You all get the idea. I mean, the goal for yes day specifically is to see why you, as a parent tend to say no and then apply that to the rest of the way you are with your kid. It's not just a one and done exploration activity. It is to help start shifting a paradigm.
[00:37:49] Speaker A: Well, so I think a great example just to shift, like, let's just talk food for.
Can we talk?
[00:37:55] Speaker D: Of course. That's a great idea. Great idea.
[00:37:57] Speaker A: Well, I mean, oftentimes I feel like we're always saying no around food or don't eat this or no, you can't have that right now. Dinner is coming, all those sort of stuff. And we began to realize that our kids, they didn't want to just eat at 08:00 a.m. And 12:00 p.m. And 06:00 p.m. And be done. Right.
It seems like every ten minutes there is something they are wanting.
[00:38:30] Speaker D: And we would say that that's important. Actually, the kids need to eat every 2 hours.
[00:38:34] Speaker A: Absolutely. Very important. And so how could we do that in a way that they will probably always gravitate toward little Debbie or swiss miss roll or candy bar or piece of chocolate or all those things.
[00:38:52] Speaker C: As do adults. Right. As do we.
[00:38:56] Speaker A: They're no different than me. They're no different than, you know, for a. It's now a basket. It used to be a bowl of full of fruit, vegetables, things that they know is always a yes. And we may have to limit. They probably don't need to eat ten bananas in a day, but we can say yes.
We want to say yes as much as we can. And that was giving them opportunities. They know what they can ask for, what's good. I mean, the nuts, the almonds, those types of things.
[00:39:38] Speaker D: Yeah. Early on, another thing that we did that was like just a major because we needed a heavy reset is we did something called a yes jar, which is kind of known in the world of empowered to connect and connected parenting and TBRI. And it's basically saying, I'm going to fill this jar with things that I can say yes.
Is this can be a really healing, incredibly important reset. And so it's when our older kids were little and we need it kind of during the same time of like we got to reframe everything we sort of set up. I mean, mojis kind of said it. We had two drawers in our kitchen.
[00:40:22] Speaker A: I crack know some people call it a yes jar. Tana called it a yes rubbermate tub.
[00:40:30] Speaker D: Always or nothing. I don't know, go big or go home.
I can't even pretend to not be who I am. Yeah, that's true. Well, then I had three or four different opportunities for them to go to something again.
[00:40:44] Speaker A: That's right.
[00:40:45] Speaker D: So there was like a healthy yes. Place. And this is always a yes. And then this basket of goodies is a yes once a day. And then this jar is a yes all the time. And it might have gum and some little candies in it or some little dollar store treats or treasures or stickers. Our kids were, like, elementary age or something at the time. And it was good because what it did is it built in natural opportunities for our kids to risk asking because they knew the answer would be yes. So if you've got a kid that is more timid about asking because they assume it's going to be a no, or they've sort of think, grown ups always tell me no. It can be like a heavy, hard reset and you think, oh, they're going to take advantage of it and they're going to consume everything or do it all in one day.
And that might happen for a little while. But I promise you, the fun of the yes jar or rubbermaid tub or basket you have. It'll wear off.
It does. It did. It wore off. I mean, we did it for a while.
I was homeschooling the older kids at the time, and I think probably a good solid year. I kept some yes. Jars and drawers and baskets of food and stuff kind of filled. And pretty soon we just didn't need that tool anymore because, again, we were using that as a tool to build trust, to hit reset, to show ourselves to be faithful and trustworthy parent who say yes when we can and no when we need to. And we're going to take the fear away from the ask.
We are saying, if you ask for that, the answer will be yes. And them risking it was a yes that we could give.
[00:42:35] Speaker A: And I'll say we've got older teens and then we've got two that are younger.
And I have found, like, with one of them, when they are really struggling and they are afraid to use their voice, we will have to kind of coach this kiddo of saying, hey, if you will ask, we are going to say yes. It's almost like we're having to. All right, here's a new muscle that you're going to have to use, and you can do it. I know it's scary, but I want you to know, you ask, it's going to be yes.
[00:43:15] Speaker D: I just don't think we can underestimate that's a risk, man. It's a risk for some of our kids. To use their voice that way.
Show up big, take a deep breath, and use our little acronym. Be present, attune to their feelings, resonate with them, develop that trust, show them that you're there, and balance that nurture and structure and help our kids risk the ask.
[00:43:41] Speaker C: Well, as we kind of go head for home here and wrap up, I'd love for us to sort of speak to just a few.
Whether it's cautions or just kind of things to keep in mind as you get going with this, as we're talking, I feel the need to give the caveat.
I'm sharing some Victoria stories today. The example I, like, snarky, talked about earlier said, like, oh, well, you don't want to respond, oh, you just had ice cream for breakfast. Now you're asking for it for lunch. This is ridiculous. I said that within the last two weeks, I can think of an exact moment where I was not in my right mind. We were so tired. And the pandemic, I think, has done this to a lot of us over the last year. But I snapped them in a way that was just so unhealthy and unhelpful. And I didn't have some glorious movie moment where I went back and repaired. I kind of had to stumble back with each of them later and just sort of, like, tail between my legs, like, y'all, I'm sorry. And they're like, we know you and mom were mad. She already apologized. And so this is hard. It is so hard to change habits and instincts that you have one piece of advice I would say that I would give. It is so helpful to be able to reflect on why and how often you say no or why and how often your buttons get pushed during this process of kind of starting in this conversation. So thinking through, man, this day, I said yes about this. I said no about this. No about this. I was so angry about that. When you have these visceral moments, take a second, even if it's just run to the bathroom real quick and make a note in your phone so that once the dust settles on your day, a little bit later, you can go back to go, okay, now, why was I in this space? Why did this trigger me so badly? We've talked about this all year long on the show. But that reflective self care of being curious with yourself, figuring out why certain things are setting you off, is going to help you in the process of giving structure and nurture to yourself as a parent.
The moments I've had this week of being so frustrated as a parent, it has helped to reflect on those and then to bounce back a little bit because then you give yourself a pretty easy win. If you reflect on it, it's going to make it a little bit easier for you to instinctively the next day sort of correct course and go back. So that'll be my advice as you're starting into this process. Any thoughts from you guys on just tips or tricks or just easy kind of advice as you're starting out?
[00:46:30] Speaker D: One thing, when you were just talking, JD, something came to mind that is maybe worth thinking about. I don't know that we, I'm sure when we first started parenting, we had some expectation that you couldn't go back and change your mind with your know. And there's a lot of parenting that's like say what you do and do what you say. Well, when you are trying to learn a new way of reacting, so you're trying not to react and you want to respond, we will react in ways that we want to stop and do something differently. So can we just sort of say, look, we do need to follow through, but it's okay to go to your kid and say, hey, sweetie, when you asked me that, I just automatically said no. And I've taken a minute to think about that and I think that can be a yes. And I want to apologize for reacting and I want to give you a different answer now. I'm going to do a redo here. I mean, just to sort of allow ourselves to redo and to feel the freedom to model for our kids that you can react and you can repair and you can change your mind.
So that's one thing I don't think we've talked about around how to say yes when your automatic reaction might be no.
[00:47:48] Speaker C: Yeah.
[00:47:53] Speaker A: JD, it's such a gift for both sides of this relationship.
Right? Like you're teaching things for your kid to learn and trust is being built. But I know over our last string of episodes there have been a lot of self reflection.
This is also the real gift here of this tool. This is a parenting reset. And so don't lose sight of that. I don't want people to.
This is a real gift for us. It seems so crazy when we went through first it came to etc. And however many years, ten, 1112 years ago and we had to go do this yesterday and it just seems so mind boggling. But to stop and reflect and oftentimes we talk about having a growth mindset and I just think sometimes we as not, sometimes parents just get in a rut and we just kind of go and go and go and we can look up and man, a year's gone by too. And I just, on a bigger scale, just the growth mindset of like, man, this is going to help my relationship with my kids. It's going to help my kids, it's going to help me grow as a person. Just have a growth mindset of man. Enter into this and see what you're going to learn about yourself and what it's showing you.
[00:49:32] Speaker D: When you said that, the other thing that's interesting is this supports kids behavior too. I mean, mo said, don't lose sight of that. I will say I'm not in any way, shape or form saying that our kids behave perfectly all the time. They don't. They have struggles. They do have struggles. As we, as parents, yes, they do.
[00:49:56] Speaker A: Don't do this perfectly.
[00:49:57] Speaker D: But I think we can genuinely say we very seldom have to say no, which is not where we were when we started parenting this way.
As a set of parents, we very seldomly have to say no. And I think it's probably a combination of we've realized we don't need to say it as much as we thought we did, and our kids are not putting us in a position of needing to say it as much as we thought they did, or maybe as they did because everything's been reset.
And when they hear no, not all the time, sometimes hearing no is still hard and disappointment is real and we will walk through that disappointment together.
But don't buy into the potential lie that if you say yes, you will spoil your kids and they will become behavioral problems.
Now, if you say no, stick with it. Don't let them maneuver out of hearing no. That does set you up for some battle of control. So if you need to say no, say no because kids need structure anyway. That's what I would say.
[00:51:17] Speaker C: Awesome.
[00:51:18] Speaker D: Yes when you can and no when you need to.
[00:51:21] Speaker A: That's great.
[00:51:22] Speaker C: Well, that's going to do it for us today on this conversation. We will be back next week for more on the etc. Podcast.
[00:51:36] Speaker B: Well, just a great reminder for us that we.
[00:51:41] Speaker C: Well, I'll speak for myself.
[00:51:42] Speaker B: I say no out of convenience, way too much. Even re recording this episode and having to work on it and listen to it again was humbling because this weekend I gave several no's that were out of pure selfish convenience because I didn't want to do something. And so I feel called out and exposed. And so I hope that you feel in a positive way that same level of check in our spirit or conviction. However you want to say it, that we can say yes more than we say no. And it's a powerful thing when we choose to harness that ability to say yes. And so for all that, all that said for Mo and Tana Oninger, for everybody here at empowered to connect, for.
[00:52:31] Speaker C: Kyle Wright, who edits and engineers all of our audio, for Tad Jewett, the.
[00:52:34] Speaker B: Creator of the music behind the empowered.
[00:52:35] Speaker C: To Connect podcast, I'm JD Wilson, and.
[00:52:37] Speaker B: We'Ll see you next week on the empowered to connect podcast.