His eyes sparkled, entire face smiled and he was radiating satisfaction from head to toe in ways I hadn’t seen before. He was in the driver’s seat. He was in charge. It was his first “Yes Day!” … and giving him this gift made me feel absolutely incredible.

So, what’s a “Yes Day!”?

It’s a day where parents say yes to requests from their children. 

A few months back, I saw this concept posted on my mentor Kelly Roach’s social media page that she had a “Yes Day!” with her daughter and it sounded beautiful!

As I decided to write this article, I just found out it was a concept popularized by a movie starring Jennifer Garner.

How my son’s “Yes Day!” Played out

He woke up just before 8am, came to me in the living room and said “mama, today is my ‘Yes Day!’” Then he asked for cuddles on the sofa an my heart was melting.

His next request was to play chess. He didn’t ask me to let him win, so I found an opportunity to win and he was cool with it. Whew!

He had an avocado toast breakfast of champions, with the most important ingredient, mayonnaise, then we got dressed and headed out to the zoo.

Before arriving, he wanted an ice cream, so that happened around 10am.

At the zoo, we purchased a season’s pass, got two buckets of treats to feed the animals and he took sooooo many pictures of every animal he saw. He loved it and told me all about the animals.

In the gift shop, he asked for a stuffy and ended up purchasing seven!!!

He took them all to the car and cuddled them all the way home.

It was time to eat lunch an snacks in front of the TV surrounded by his stuffies and spend the afternoon watching…. Ninjago (a show we never let him watch).

Way too many episodes later as the sun began to go down, it was time to head to the beach to jump on rocks and go for a walk.

He asked me to carry him home, so I agreed… until… he called me a “poo-poo face” and refused to apologize. I had to draw the line and would not pick him up again without a proper apology…. He was not impressed I wouldn’t pick him up so he cried and shouted at me all the way home for the neighbors to hear… and hear they did! It was not a pretty site.

After a good hissy fit, he came to his senses, asked for a book and some cuddles and we went to bed.

Despite the rocky ending, I’d definitely do it again. However, next time I’d set out a few more rules in advance.

The rules we had and rules I should have considered

This time, my rule was to say yes to requests that are legal, moral, ethical and safe. He respected these rules and kept reminding me of the safety piece by running different scenarios: “you won’t say yes if I climb a tree that’s too high and not strong enough to hold me up…”

I’d definitely keep these rules and other rules I’d consider adding in the future include:

  1. Vegetables and healthy foods must be eaten before sugar and candy
  2. Basic manners must still be followed. Please, thank you, apologizing and owning mistakes, etc.
  3. Consider a spending limit per place or perhaps for the entire day. It wasn’t astronomical, however, it could have been.
  4. Perhaps keeping it to a specific geographic location. My husband said “thank goodness he didn’t ask to go on a plane to see grandma Saturday evening…”
  5. Not saying yes to screen time, so other activities are encouraged
  6. Saying yes to things that will happen now/that day, not in the future

Also, I’d consider asking your child if there are any other rules they would like to add. They might surprise you.

Overall, it was a great day!

I wasn’t sure what he was going to ask for and knew it could have been full of surprises. Yet, my son kept it simple and did things that totally satisfied him. Being in charge was a huge confidence boost and empowering opportunity for him.

If you’re considering a yes day for your kids, I highly recommend it. Have a conversation with them, let them know what to expect and what the ground rules are and let yourself have fun and your kids sure will too.

When you do hold your “Yes Day!” I’d love to know how it goes.