The Yes Count

Someone recently informed me there's a thing people are doing called a "24-hour Yes Challenge."

Which is exactly what its name says - the person accepting the challenge has to say yes to everything requested of him/her in a 24 hour period and then giving reasonable attempt at making good on the requests.

Let me be honest - I can think of very few challenges I would fail at quicker than this one.

24 hours?? Like one whole day??

No. I wouldn't even take a 2.4 hour Yes Challenge.

Maybe a 2.4 Yeses-In-One-Day Challenge - but even that would be a push for me.

A challenge that involves me meeting a required number of yeses? I'll answer that in my best Simon Cowell voice, "It's a no from me."

See, I can't even say Yes to the first part - there's no possible way I would be good at anything thereafter.

But, I feel good about knowing I would fail at this one - and here's why, life is not good at giving out yes answers.

Have you ever noticed this?

Real life, I don't care who you are, hurls obstacles and hurdles at people. all. the. time.

Anyone ever been completely broke? Like on your last dollar broke and just sat for a moment and hoped fervently that you would win the lottery. Made promises to do SO MANY good things with the money as long as you could just win it and pay your bills.

And then not only did you NOT win the lottery but when you opened your mailbox the next day you got the bill for your car insurance? Or the x-ray bill from when your toddler had pneumonia? Or found out your kid's school lunch bill was due?

Did you get a yes to your lotto-win request?

No. You got a "stop-trying-to-find-the-easy-way-out-and-get-your finances-in-order" hurdle.

Anyone ever asked their boss for a raise (even one you were certain you should get) and been turned down?

Ouch. Painful, right?

Yes answer? Nope, sorry. Boss-Man was apparently all out of yeses that day.

And that's just it. We, as adults, have to understand that life hands out a lot of "no's" along the way. Therefore, we cannot raise our children to believe that life will be any different for them.

Life. Hands out. No's. Period the end. No further questions. That's it. It just does.

So what favor are we doing our kids if we - even if only for a day - make them feel like the answer will be yes.

The answer is ironically, a form of the word no and that is: none.

None, zero, zilch favors will you do by making them this 24-hour easy-breezy arrangement.

Instead you are giving them a pass. Telling them they don't need to push through and take the hurdle - they instead can just wait for the "yes day" to come along and walk leisurely around that hurdle as though it wasn't ever there in the first place.

Moms, Dads, Alien-life-forms, take pride in your no's. Don't just say them and pull one of those "because I said so" type of answers. If your kid requests something from you, take a moment and really give it some thought. And if the conclusion you come to is that this request is not a good idea, if it does not work for you or a member of your family or if it conflicts with something or just an all-around bad idea -then by all means, speak up and say, "no."

It's okay. It's well within your right as a parent to not give in to every demand. To make them understand that some requests are not within your power and to help them see that some questions are better left answered when they are old enough to understand it better.

And then realize that not only is this okay but it will also help prepare them for the no's they will receive in the future. It will help them learn how to handle that rejection of not getting everything they ask for.

You want a challenge? The next time your kid or a fellow parent asks you to take or if you've tried the "Yes Challenge" - say no.