- Say Yes to Water Play – Water is probably the cleanest messy thing a child can play with. We often are reluctant to the splashing, wet clothes, and the whole mess of it all, but it’s just water, right? Set your child at the sink with water, bubbles and some plastic toys or cups, or let him do some pretend play with his boat in the “lake.” You can also contain water play to a storage tub or medium container on the kitchen floor or outside.
- Say Yes to Wearing Something Completely Silly – We all want our children to be clean and presentable in public, but sometimes kids just want to wear stripes with polka dots or sneakers with a dress, and other mild to somewhat more dramatic fashion faux pas. Letting them select what to wear (regardless of the latest trends) is a great boost to your child’s confidence, self esteem, and growing independence. So let her true colors show and be proud of your little one’s conviction.
- Say Yes to Spur of the Moment Ideas or Changes of Plans – One of the hardest things for a parent to say yes to are shifts in the schedule or routine. We often like our ducks in a row. We plan out the day to make sure it’s smooth, and not all personality types find it easy to let that all go when a child has what they think is a fabulous alternative idea. Next time you get such a request, take a moment to seriously consider it. “How about we take a walk today instead, Mommy?” or “I want to eat lunch outside!” “Hey, Ma, can we go to the movies?” If it can be done, why not? You may find that the only real opposition to the idea’s feasibility is your own resistance to break your established plans. What a wonderful confidence boost it will be when you tell your child, “You know what?! That is a fabulous idea–let’s go!”
- Say Yes to Getting Messy – Kids love to get messy. And while we may resist it, play clothes are meant to get dirty and glue and paint are meant to be enjoyed. Sometimes, we aren’t too eager to break out the smocks, but worst case scenario, most messes can be pretty quickly remedied by a sponge and a bath.