No More No!

It’s an interesting exercise to count how many times each day you say the word NO especially to your kids.

Even if you eliminated all the “No. Don’t run into traffic” or “No, you may not finger paint the walls,” there are still a lot of NOs coming out of our mouths just ’cause we’re tired or it doesn’t sound practical. Being a kid is not about being practical; it’s about possibilities.

Can I jump in that pile of leaves you’ve just raked up, Dad?

The first thought that probably comes to mind is that it’ll take another half hour to rake them up again. What’s the point in that? Though the chores and tasks of our parental duties that get us from one day to the next are important, it just as significant to remember that life is about the experience.

In the book Bossypants, the author (and comedian) Tina Fey discusses the application of the rules of improvisation to everyday life. The first rule is ALWAYS AGREE. Say Yes to everything. Try spending a day or even just an hour saying yes to anything your children propose, even if (especially if) it’s just make believe. According to Fey, the purpose of this rule is to “respect what your partner has created.” As a “partner” in real life, what your children have “created” is possibilities. When we say NO, we’ve closed off part of the world of experience because we’re just not in the mood.The second rule of improv is to take things further. Fey explains this as saying “YES, AND. You are supposed to agree and then add something of your own…To me YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute.”


When your child wants to jump in your pile of leaves, say, “Yes and it’s a treasure, a pile of gold.”

What a great example to your children’s imaginations to be part of a world of possibilities.