Updated: Jun 12
The 'yes day', have you ever tried it? Before we had children, Mr Resolve and I would enjoy a 'spontaneity day' fairly frequently. We would walk to the high street and catch the first bus that came along, we would then get off the bus whenever we saw a cool looking bar/café/event and see where the day took us. Good times.
This blog is NOT about spontaneity days, as that just sounds like a recipe for stressed parents, over tired kids and a whole heap of regret. This blog is about 'yes days' instead.
The concept is simple, find a day when you have no other commitments, and whatever your child wants to do, say 'yes'. This only works well, with one child at a time so pick your favourite (jokes! But do rota it, otherwise you'll just tie yourself in knots and everyone will be wailing, yourself included). I've always enjoyed the idea of the yes day, but had never given it a proper go, life has been too busy, too hectic and too heavily scheduled. Cue lockdown... Lockdown has been awful in many ways, but it has given us the gift of time. So when one night stalling bedtime Big asked "Can we make pizzas and deliver them to my friends tomorrow?" I just had to say yes.
In truth, I was blown away by the kindness and excitement at the act of giving, from Big. Six year olds aren't always best known for their altruism... The following day he awoke full of the joys of Spring (Summer) and had a million and one ideas: "We can make an advert, and a menu and deliver it and they can call DADDY and tell him what they want and we can make it and deliver the pizzas on our BIKES!"
We did have to set some boundaries, for example we weren't able to do this for all the members of his class, and that took some getting over, and we also weren't able to deliver them by bike - but we were able to hold on to the essence of this wonderful, creative and kind idea.
We began the day with a clapper board, some chalk (sneaky writing practice) and some footage which we edited in iMovie into a really lovely advert for his pizza delivery service. I sent this to a friend who had no idea what to expect but had already confirmed that they had no lunch plans for that day. Once she had seen the advert we sat down to create a menu in Canva, he was popping with wonderful ideas for ingredients, designs and names for his pizzas. We printed and laminated the menu before walking over and hand delivering it to our friends.
A few hours of anxious phone watching later Mr Resolve received The Call. They had ordered a Cheesy Weesy Surprise and a Meateorite. We set to work, making the dough and gathering the ingredients. While the pizzas were cooking Big asked to send a notification that said 'your pizza is in the oven' so we hopped back onto Canva, this was such a good extending activity as it meant he had to decide on an appropriate background and engage his phonics skills! While we were there we also made one to announce that the pizza was 'out for delivery', he felt like a real professional pizza maker and my heart almost burst with pride!
We delivered the pizzas (by car because logistically I just couldn't make it happen by bike), the excitement and the act of giving was immense for him. And for me? The whole experience was one that was utterly refreshing, how often are we afforded the luxury of saying "yes" to everything for our child? Compare that to how often we have to say "no", or redirect their desires? My good friend Lisa wrote about this recently, she said when she wants to say no, she tries to remember to ask herself 'why not?' and if there's no real reason (danger, time or financial constraints for example), then she will say yes.
I'll end with this gem: upon delivery Big was given a tip (20p), I asked him if he wanted to buy some sweets or put it in his money box, he replied "No, I want to give it to charity". And that, dear reader, is when my heart did burst.