Just Say Yes! Our Family’s Adventures on a Yes Day


Kids playing on a climbing set. By now, you’ve surely heard of a “Yes Day.” It’s a trendy day where kids rule for 24 hours, and you, the parent, say yes to whatever they ask for. After reading some “Do it!” articles and just as many not-so-enthusiastic articles, I decided to give it a whirl. 

The Rules

First, I established some rules with my girls. They were simple parameters to help keep the day a fun and positive experiment.

Rule 1: I could say no to keeping them safe or if the request was too crazy.

This one made the most sense to the kids, and they had no complaints – of course, they wanted to stay safe. They then spent about ten minutes thinking of the craziest requests I would be able to say no to – can we lick the sidewalk? No. Can we fly to Disney? No. Can we go to the beach and kiss hermit crabs? No, and why would you want to? Fits of giggles later, we were onto the rest of the rules.

Rule 2: Once the budget had been diminished, we were done. 

This rule raised many questions about how much money we could spend, and I said I would let them know. Honestly, I didn’t have a fixed budget, but I wanted them to think about what they wanted before they started asking for huge toys and lavish items.

Rule 3: The day had to be based on things they both agreed on. 

I wouldn’t say yes to one person if it were not something the other person wanted to do. Easy enough.

Rule 4: Any bickering or fighting immediately cancels Yes Day.

This was my most important rule. If they had a different opinion, they had to work it out like thoughtful, calm humans. (A fight-free day was a huge win in my book).

It Begins

The first request was, “Can we have Starbucks for a treat?” Yes. YES! YES! Coffee! Warm, caffeine-infused goodness, and they think it’s on their terms, wahooooo! A couple of cake pops and a latte later, and we were ready for the first big event.

They discussed their ideas carefully and decided they wanted to try an arcade. They had heard about Dave and Busters from their friends and wanted to go – so we did. They played game after game, giggling and collecting tickets. After that, we were off to lunch. One daughter wanted food court Chinese. Yes. The other one wanted a pretzel. Yes.

Then they wanted to go to the movies. Yes. And sit in the front row. (Grumbles by me). Yes. I never want to sit in the front row. Nobody does. But they wanted to try it – and when we left the theater my little one said, “Wow, I know why you don’t like the front row, I had to sit weird to see.” (Oooh bonus Yes Day lessons).

What else did they ask for? Dinner at a boring chain restaurant and dessert, a snuggle night while we watched cartoons, listening to their choice of radio station in the car, and a trip to Target to use their own gift cards. Yes, yes, and yes.

The Results

So, was this Yes Day worth it? Yes. I won’t sit here and pretend it was a mind-blowing revelation, aha moment kind of day. It wasn’t. I know my kids and what kind of things they would ask for.

It was worth it because I put the power in their hands for the day. It gave them a sense of importance and worth because they got to be the decision-makers. They learned a little about decision-making and compromise, but more than that, we had fun. 

We let go, put the phones and iPads down, and just had fun. Sometimes, it’s important to go with the flow and let go of the reigns a little bit. There were no meltdowns and fights as they discussed what to do, and they didn’t ask to go over and above. They instinctively knew what was acceptable and stuck to some simple things that gave them a fun day.

Will I do it again, maybe. Will I do it again soon? No. A Yes Day has to be a once-in-a-while treat for the benefit of my wallet. But, what I will do is this: I will let the kids make more of the day-to-day choices. Why not? Decision-making is an important skill to learn, so why not start it at home in a fun way?

If you have had a Yes Day with your kids, tell us all about it in the comments!


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