Say "yes": 4 simple ways to empower our kids

We're Lemoning our way through the week here at snackdinner, finding new ways to #sayyes, even if that means telling our toddler he can stay in more

Saying "yes" isn't about letting kids get away with anything. It's about empowering them with real choices and encouraging them to accept a little bit more responsibility. If you've been saying "no" a lot lately, read on for four ways to say "yes."

  1. Frame your day in terms of choices. "Do you want to get ready for bed?" isn't a choice because both you and your child already know the answer.  "Which PJ pants do you want, the candy corn or the stripes?" gives your child a real choice. The question isn't really about the pajamas, it's about ceding authority to your child. "Should we read two or three stories?" "Which book do you think your bunny wants to read?" "Do you want to take a bath in your tub or in Mom and Dad's tub?" "what color fort should we built over your bed tonight?" Whatever your nighttime ritual is, these questions help your child make real choices. 
  2. Give your children wide-open questions when any answer is a good one. At lunchtime, ask your child to pick where you should eat. An impromptu picnic in the playroom, or a full china fancy dining room lunch offers a great break in the routine. 
  3. Make a mess. Have you been avoiding mud, paint or other messy projects? Put on your oldest clothes and make a mess together. 
  4. Invite a little danger. Does your child keep showing interest in an activity that scares you? Does he, for example, really want to slice the tomatoes for dinner? The worst that can happen is he'll get cut. And that would be sad. But in the best case scenario, he'll have the pride of accomplishing a big kid task. That's worth a little risk. 

How are you saying yes to your kids this week? Follow us at @trysnackdinner and share your own ways to #sayyes.