I recently came across this photograph and quote by Marjorie Hinckley regarding parenting:
“whenever possible say yes, they are only kids once!”
After reading this, I immediately reflected on the many times I have already seemingly needed to say (or at least think): “No!”, when it comes to parenting my curious little 9 month-old. And yet, I am grateful for this refreshing approach to indulging a child while still maintaining proper methods of discipline, or rather, “behavior training”, as I like to think of it.
One example of me attempting to put this perspective into practice happened a week or so ago. Little C was at the adult bookshelf again (as in not HER books…) pulling the books off one-by-one. As they piled onto the floor, I said “No, Little C”…but then thought of Sister Hinckley’s words and decided to change my response; I sat down next to my baby and said, “let’s put the books (that were piled on the floor) back on the shelf” and proceeded to help her grab a book and maneuver it back into an empty slot. So, while I didn’t exactly say “Yes, Little C, you can pull the books off the shelf all you want!“, I did try to turn my response into a positive reaction and a corrective solution. She’s also young enough that she was enjoying holding the book and putting it back on the shelf (with my help, of course) just as much as she was enjoying pulling them down. And at the end of my little teaching moment, the books were tidied up and both mama and baby were happy. Win-win 🙂
Another day when she was, of course, back at the shelf pulling books down, I decided to say nothing. No teaching moment, no words, no action on my part. I merely observed and thought, “you know, she’s not doing any harm to the books; she’s not tearing through pages or bending covers. I’ll just let her be.” And I did. It was actually very gratifying to watch her knowing that I was “letting” her continue despite creating a bit of a cluttered mess. And when it comes down to it, she doesn’t know it’s creating a mess at all! Just an innocent baby having a little fun. That, for me anyway, was a “say ‘yes!'” moment 🙂