Josée in Ottawa

The Yes Experiment: Results

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Say No to Yes by teresatrimm (Flickr Creative Commons)

Say No to Yes by teresatrimm (Flickr Creative Commons)

Results, short version: This experiment was a complete failure.

Results, long version:

Day 1 – Saturday

The experiment was off to a rocky start as the first question I was asked was, “Can I play on the iPad?” Normally not a problem, but the iPad was in the bedroom where Hubby was still asleep. So that was the first no, right out of the gate. I didn’t even think before answering. Would Hubby have understood if I had snuck in to get it and woken him up in the process? Probably. But saying no is a hard habit to break and the word was out of my mouth before I even realized what I was doing.

And here’s a tip for you if you’re planning on trying this type of experiment: don’t take the kids to Ikea on day 1.

Days 2: Sunday

I tried – I really did.

Days 3 to 7: Monday to Friday

I gave up.

It became painfully obvious to me within the first few days that saying yes to everything was just not practical. Had I said yes to everything, the kids would have spent every single moment they were home zonked out in front of the TV eating Vegetable Thins. (Have you every looked at how much salt is in those things?)

I may have completely missed Hubby’s point that watching TV while eating nothing but Vegetable Thins for a week would not have brought the world to an end, but:  I. Just. Could. Not. Do. It.

I think that if I only had Bonhomme to contend with, this experiment may have worked. When Bonhomme’s wishes are granted he is very happy and enthusiastic. But B.G.’s personality is such that if you give her an inch, she takes not just one, but at least one thousand miles. If I agree to let her sleep in our bed one night she wants to sleep in our bed every night, and doesn’t understand why it’s ok on day one but not so much on day five. If I say yes to a small bowl of Vegetable Thins at snack time she doesn’t understand why she can’t have a large bowl of Vegetable Thins any time she wants. I swear she’s going to be a lawyer when she grows up (heaven help us) as everything that is said or done in this house becomes PRECEDENT. If the circumstances last week were such that thing A happened, for instance, then whenever the same circumstances arise thing A should be inevitable, in her view. Especially when thing A is something she wants or looks forward to. Case in point: since she stayed home sick with Hubby and he didn’t make her nap, he will never, ever be able to get her to nap on a sick day ever again.

Though I couldn’t go through with it, the experiment did get me to start pausing and thinking before answering the kids’ questions, and I will continue to try to say yes more often.

It also made me realize that we need to stop buying Vegetable Thins. Those things are addictive.

One thought on “The Yes Experiment: Results

  1. Hee! I hate to laugh, but your comment about the IKEA was awfully cute :).

    I found the same thing when I tried it – both that my kid would use the “yes” plan to get as much screen time as possible, and that they would continue to push and push until the boundaries reached a real snapping point. So I totally feel your pain – and sounds like you’re doing just fine.

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