Thursday, August 25, 2016

Create Family Fun and a New Tradition - Start a "YES Day!"

 Fine Tuned Family: "Wise Parents, Wise Kids" Conversation with Sarah Markowski, MOPS Mentor, and Speaker

Sarah is an Air Force spouse and mom of 5 kids.  She prefers converse tennis shoes to high heels, and gets through everyday with a whole lot of Jesus and a little bit of coffee.  Sarah loves all things food-network, considers chocolate to be medicinal, and works out daily so she can keep up with her kids.  Her heartbeat is connecting with people, and if she has any free time, she loves to write on her blog and read.  Sarah lives each day “looking for the glitter” even if life gets a little gloomy because as every mom knows, even if you just have a little glitter it seems to get EVERYWHERE!

The "Wise Parents, Wise Kids" video chat between Janet Bonnin, Angela Woodrow and guest Sarah Markowski was really fun and filled with ideas!  You can see that by going here:

If you'd rather read about it, here are some highlights:

FTF: What is "YES Day"?

SM: YES! Day is a concept I borrowed from a children’s book of the same name. It’s a day that allows your children to ask for the (sometimes crazy) things that don’t fit into a regular “schedule” and gives you the chance to say YES!

FTF: Why did you decide to do a "YES Day"?

SM:I decided to do YES! Day because as a mom, I was feeling burdened by the amount of correction, redirection, and “no” that seemed to dominate my parenting journey.  I wanted my kids to feel the positive reinforcement of receiving permission, and I wanted to feel the empowerment that comes with giving permission.

FTF: What should parents do in order to have a successful "YES Day"?

SM: To prepare for YES! Day, I had to think three steps ahead of my kids.  I did write a few ground rules to prevent the day from spiraling out of control, and I started the day by presenting those so that we wouldn’t have confusion or conflict during the actual day.  As a parent, you have to think about what you are comfortable with and what your budget allows.  For instance, one of our rules was that the kids could not ask to do things that jeopardized their (or anyone else’s) safety.  I also had a rule that gave them each a $10 spending limit for the day (outside of food).  I was fine if they wanted to go out to eat three times that day, but I did not want to spend $500 on a clothing-shopping spree.

FTF: What was a favorite memory/moment from your "YES Day" experience?

SM: My favorite moment was at the very end of the day.  My oldest (about 14 at the time) had asked for NOTHING all day long.  By lunchtime I was suspicious.  Just as we were heading to bed, he said, “Mom, can I get a Facebook account?”  I was stunned.  His request did not break any of my ground rules.  He was crafty and clever.  I thought for a minute trying to figure out how I was going to get around this one.  I finally just said YES! But, in the morning we’ll talk about the guidelines that will come with that privilege!  I loved being able to reward his patience and creativity with a YES!
FTF: Would you do a "YES Day" again?

SM: We have done a YES! Day every year since that first one.  I usually surprise the kids on a day that is out of the blue when I feel like we could all use a little more fun and joy in our lives!
You can find the ‘Yes Day’ book here:

Other ‘Yes! Day’ resources:
People reading ‘Yes! Day’ book:

A variation on ‘Yes! Day’

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