Stu’s Challenge: The 24 Hour Gift

smiling boy

This week at ForeverParenting, I respond to a challenge that Stu threw down in November to spend a day not correcting the children.  How do you think I did?

Stu challenged us to spend a day not correcting our children a while back. Being that I take Stu pretty seriously, I tried it.

Lasted about 4 minutes, give or take.

Part of my difficulties was that I was teaching lessons, and it’s hard to do math without correcting mistakes. The other part was that I’ve gotten pretty critical lately, so I decided I should work on it.

Since the whole correction thing wasn’t going well, I decided to adapt the challenge and try to just say “Yes” as much as I could for a whole day. I’d gotten to the point in life where “No” came out of my mouth for every request they made.

Which is silly really. Why do I say no so much??

I’m happy to report that the yes thing went much better. So much so that I extended my efforts beyond that day and have been trying it since. I’ve got some work to do, but I’m finding that if I stop and ask myself “Why not?” when they make a request, I often don’t have a good answer to that. So I try to find a way to say yes.

My results: boys who are taking more responsibility because they’re getting more trust. I have to spend extra time teaching them new things as I’m saying yes, but then they’re DOING the new things, with increasing pride as a result. For example, (with much trepidation) we said yes to an older boy slicing his own cheddar cheese with a knife(!) recently. He did fine, and got quite a kick out of serving his brothers up some freshly sliced cheese.

If I get tired, it’s easier to say no in the short run, but I’m really not doing anyone any long-term favors. So….yes it is.

Even if that means stepping back while some pretty bizarre science experiments take place. With appropriate supervision and knuckle-biting, of course.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to do their best.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Michelle (beartwinsmom) January 13, 2008, 8:53 pm

    Hey, I read it, and left a comment over at GNMP. Great ideas!

    BTW, you’ve been tagged for a meme (again). LOL

    Hugs, Michelle