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What You Need to Know About ‘Yes Days’ for Kids

What Is a Yes Day for Kids




Written by:

Barbara Mighdoll

Have you heard about the concept of a ‘Yes Day'? I’ve wondered what exactly all the hype is about? 

Jason and I are in constant discussion about whether we “give in” to Caden too easily. Truth be told, we have differing opinions. For example, he's okay with Caden wearing his rain boots on a sunny day or opting to play with toys instead of sitting at the dinner table. My natural inclination is to say no—I prefer him to wear those neutral-colored sneakers that match his outfit or to sit still while we have our family dinner. However, more often than not, I find myself saying “yes” just to avoid a potential argument. Jason's concern in these situations revolves around whether we are inadvertently reinforcing a disregard for our established rules.

What Is a Yes Day for Kids

As a Type A parent who likes things organized and planned, it's a real challenge for me to loosen the reins. Especially when your baby morphs into a toddler with opinions that defy all logic and tantrums that seem to come out of nowhere. We've got our day all mapped out, our home organized just the way we like, but toddlers? Well, they throw a delightful curveball into our carefully crafted plans.

So, when I stumbled upon the idea of a ‘yes day,' my initial reaction was a hard pass. Say yes to every wild request from my toddler for an entire day? Mac and cheese for breakfast? No nap? Not in a million years.

But, here's the thing – are there some hidden perks to this approach? Could a ‘Yes Day’ backfire and reinforce the not-so-great behaviors,s or is it the secret sauce to nurturing some positive habits? Time to dive in and find out.

What is a ‘Yes Day'?

Simply put, a ‘Yes Day' is a day where parents agree to say “yes” to their children's requests for a whole day. It could range from a movie marathon, a trip to the theme park, or even a day filled with board games and ice cream.

Now, before you start panicking at the thought of endless amounts of junk food, no bedtime, and non-stop video games, take a deep breath. A ‘Yes Day' can be a good idea if you establish some ground rules.

The Purpose of a ‘Yes Day'

The whole idea of a ‘Yes Day' is to spend quality time with your kids, doing what they love. It's about ditching the constant “no” and saying “yes” to the fun stuff. And it's not just for the kiddos; it's a chance for the whole family to take a break, shake off the usual routine, and just enjoy being together and having a good laugh. You'd be surprised at how a simple change in routine can make a regular day into a special one.

Also, the idea of a ‘Yes Day' isn't about spoiling or going overboard. It's about creating fun memories and strengthening the family bond.

Best Age to Start ‘Yes Days'

Many parents find that children between the ages of 5 to 10 respond best to the idea of a ‘Yes Day.' During this stage, kids are usually old enough to grasp the idea and enjoy the special day, yet not too young to throw out requests that are overly extravagant or unsafe. So, whether it's an impromptu day trip, heading out for a sports event, or a day with no chores, a full day of “yes” can craft some super fun memories that stick around for a lifetime.

Teaching Valuable Lessons through ‘Yes Day'

A ‘Yes Day' isn't simply about indulging every whim your child may have. This special day offers a chance to impart valuable life lessons, all while having a blast and making fun memories.

Practicing Gratitude

When your child catches on that a ‘Yes Day' is a special experience, they start to value it even more. It's like this built-in gratitude lesson. As parents, we can emphasize this by taking time as a family to reflect on the day and what made it special. Encourage your kids to share their favorite moments, and express their gratitude for the quality time spent together.

Encouraging Creativity

What's great about a ‘Yes Day ‘ is that it often invites kids to think outside the box. Instead of settling for more screen time or another ice cream scoop, children are driven to invent new ‘Yes Day' activities that would make their special day even more extraordinary. This could be anything from planning a scavenger hunt to activating a backyard theme park. So, while a ‘Yes Day' can seem exhausting, remember that it's a good idea for fostering their creativity and imagination.

Empowering Decision Making

‘Yes Days' also empowers kids by giving them the chance to make their own decisions. It provides children with opportunities to practice decision-making skills, planning, and problem-solving. It also allows parents to step back and let their kids take the lead. This fosters a sense of empowerment and confidence in their choices and positively impacts their self-esteem.

Planning Your First ‘Yes Day' with Your Kids

Choose the Perfect Date

Ideally, choose a day when the whole family can be together without any other commitments. This could be a weekend, a vacation day, or even a lazy summer day when school is out. After all, the entire essence of a ‘Yes Day' is about spending quality time together.

Plan Together as a Family

‘Yes Days' are even better when you turn them into a team effort – get your kids involved in the planning process! Maybe they want a movie marathon or to have a dance party. It could be as simple as a pillow fight or a shopping spree. Whatever they decide, get them in on the action to make it a collaborative and fun day for everyone.

Establish Rules and Explain What’s Off Limits

As we mentioned before, having ‘Yes Days' can be a really good idea, but only if you establish some simple ground rules. First, let your kids know exactly what a ‘Yes Day' is all about. Make it a point to prioritize safety and quality time. Then, establish some rules, like setting limits on screen time, making bedtime non-negotiable, and identifying any off-limits activities. Other rules might include:

  1. No requests that are harmful or dangerous
  2. Requests must be affordable and feasible
  3. Parents have the final say on whether a request can be fulfilled

Set a Budget

Whether you decide to get your kids involved in financial planning or not, it's a smart move to set a budget for ‘Yes Days.' These days can include all sorts of activities or trips to the grocery or toy store, and the bills can add up. Make sure you don’t go overboard and spend way more than you can afford.

What Is a Yes Day for Kids

‘Yes Day' Ideas

After establishing the ground rules and budget, it's time to plan ‘Yes Day' activities. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  1. Quality Time with Board Games: Unplug from screen time and enjoy some old-fashioned board games. Not only is it fun, but it also fosters strategic thinking and teamwork among kids.
  2. Ice Cream Sundae Bar: Make an ice cream sundae bar and let your kids express their creativity by crafting sweet creations.
  3. At-Home Movie Marathon: Instead of spending a fortune at a theme park, why not plan a movie marathon right at home? Let the kids pick their favorite films and prepare their favorite snacks.
  4. Local Adventure: Go on a road trip to a nearby town or park. Get a bite to eat at the local deli or bakery.
  5. Special Bedtime Story: EndYes Day with a special bedtime story. This could be a favorite book or a fictional story.
What Is a Yes Day for Kids

Continuing Your ‘Yes Day’ Tradition

With ‘Yes Day' becoming a special day in your family's calendar, you might want to consider establishing it as an ongoing tradition. Find a cadence that suits your family best, whether it's once or twice a year, or every few months. By making it a recurring event, your children will have something to look forward to and anticipate.

‘Yes Days' are all about spending some quality time together as a whole family. I hope this post can help you and your family create awesome and lasting memories together.

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