Friday, May 22, 2015

The Yes Experiment!

Saying Yes to my two boys!

I always believe that a mother’s place is always with their kids.

However, I am a working mother. I wish I can spend more time with them – supervising Aiden with his homework, cuddling with Ian for his afternoon nap. But I have to juggle my responsibilities at work too. Such is a working mother’s dilemma.

Consequently, I compensate by spending quality time with them whenever I am home. When I am not at home, I trust my kids to my maid; but supervise them via CCTV. But since I am not physically home, I protect my kids further by implementing strict rules, such as not playing outside unsupervised. You can never be too careful nowadays!

Ian is quite the boisterous toddler - he's flitting around the house, climbing anything that looks even mildly adventurous and poking his fingers where it is not needed. (And it’s not even the Terrible Twos!) Persuading and rationalizing with an 18 month toddler to stop doing these mischievous things is akin to waiting for the moon to turn blue. Hence I resort to my favorite word, "No!" - Quick on the lips and oh so easy to utter. I even find myself saying "No" to Ian more often than I say "No" to Aiden.

So unfortunately, everything is a "No" for Ian nowadays, to a point that I feel it has become a knee-jerk impulsive response to almost anything audacious that Ian wants to attempt. Subconsciously, I know saying "No" this many times to a child must not be healthy. I am worried that the word "No" will lose its punch and Ian will become even more intrigued with the "no-nos".

Running after Ian who had his heart set on picking up the very attractive vase in his sight.

Aiden occasionally gets the big N-O when he asks to do things that I am not comfortable with. I can rattle off at least a dozen examples; from cycling around the neighbourhood on his own, to even wanting a pet. I have tried rationalizing my decisions with him, pointing out the risks and hazards associated with each request. However; sometimes I feel that he is too young to comprehend the rationale behind my choices.

Hence when Friso Gold approached me to participate in the "Say Yes" experiment, I accepted the campaign with open arms. It was certainly refreshing to try being neither a stern disciplinarian nor an overprotective mother in my household!

I ran the idea of the campaign through my darling husband. He was very supportive, especially as he had seen firsthand how attached I was to the simple one syllable word of "No". So for the next few weeks up until the day the experiment started, every time I said "No" to Ian (or Aiden), he would give me "the look"... His lips pursed shut trying to suppress a grin, while his eyes sparkled with laughter. Indeed it was quite an effective way to make me realize the number of times I was saying "No" and how tiresome it was. I realized then that I needed to adopt a different parenting style in raising my kids.

If you feel that you can relate to what I am going through, or probably going through the same at home, join me on my journey of "Saying Yes". Over the next 5 weeks, the Friso Gold Yes Experiment micro site will be releasing videos of the positive parenting experiences that I went through with my family.

Check out the video of Week 1, which chronicles my parenting style and how I eventually agreed to the experiment.

So fellow “No” mothers, click HERE to head to the Friso Gold Yes Experiment micro site, and together we can learn to embrace saying “Yes” to our children (to reasonable requests – of course). If you are unsure about whether you are a “Yes” or a “No” mother, there is even a quick test under the “Expert Advice” tab to help you decipher your preferred parenting style. Also, don’t forget to leave a comment after viewing the video! There are some really cute moments in that video that are definitely worth a chuckle or two. *smiles*

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