Progressive parents focus on listening to the needs of their child, validating those needs and responding. We shouldn’t judge what our child wants but accept it as valid and do everything we can to try and meet that need. We need to try and ‘find the yes’ in any request our child is communicating to us (in their words or actions). In our culture we tend to say no so commonly it becomes almost a verbal tic for us – but why don’t we make more of an effort to always ‘find the yes’ for our child? Why are we always saying no?
Of course, this can be very difficult in the real world and sometimes safety, nature and time stop us from saying yes. The point is, though, we throw around the word ‘no’ for arbitrary reasons all the time, or simply for our own convenience. I have often thought if mothers were given a set of 200 ‘no’ cards when their baby was born, that once they ran out of they could no longer use, it would be interesting to see how quickly they were used up. In two years? Three? How wonderful if there were still some left over when they reached adulthood.
Progressive parents try not to use ‘no’ as their default response and say yes more – or some form of yes. It can be helpful to think that unless the request is a genuine safety issue then why not? Progressive parents see their role as doing their utmost to ‘find the yes’ in any request – putting their child’s needs before what’s most convenient for them and dropping arbitrary rules for why they can’t do something.
‘Yes’ can come in all forms:
Yes, we can do that when I have finished this – if you help me we
can do it even sooner.
Yes, you can have that – let’s look at ways to help you save the
Yes, we can do that later as I am tired or busy right now.
Yes, you can jump up and down, but how about we take it outside?
Yes, you can draw or paint on walls – but how about we do it on the
garage walls, or in the yard?
Yes, you can eat in the lounge – let me get a blanket for you or a
Yes, you can do some hammering – let’s move it outside and get
you some things you can smash.
Saying yes and affirming our children as human beings is a gift to everyone involved. So go ahead, say yes to your kids!