If you haven’t already heard of a “Yes Day” then you will surely know what it is by the end of this post and that you should totally have one.  In 2001, Netflix made a movie based on the book with the same name that was published in 2009. The book is about a young child who has a “yes day” once every year that her parents cannot say no to her wishes (to an extent).

                How often do you say “no” to your children?  Probably too many to count. It starts off with them at a young age when you see them pick up a strange object off the ground and put it in their mouth, or when they ask you to read the same story repeatedly. As parents, we all know our kids like to ask us for many things, some just flat out crazy where all we say is no.

I will admit, like you, I am one of those parents whose first response is most likely “no”.  Sometimes though hearing the word “yes” come out of my mouth can be freeing at times.  When I told my friends and family about this idea I was doing, they were like what “you’re crazy” or “why are you having it”?   To be honest, I asked myself that same question. I had to Google “how does having a Yes Day help” My takeaway from several articles is that it allows you to foster a connection with your family and gives your kids control over their choices (this will boost their self-confidence).  It also gives parents a day off from the decision making.

So now you have decided to move forward with having your own Yes Day with one question. “How do I prepare for a Yes Day”?  First, you can’t just wake up and say today is going to be the Yes Day. You must have it planned out a little more than a spontaneous event. Kids also will then have something to look forward to if you pick out a date that works for your family.  You will then need to set some basic common knowledge ground rules. Some of them can include the following:

  1. Agree on a date
  2. Something can’t be permanent like a new pet or piercing of your ears, sorry kids
  3. A budget.  Find out what is feasible for you. If you have younger kids, you will have to explain what this means
  4. Have a travel distance, no leaving the state should be one
  5. You can’t tell people you are having a Yes Day. Let them stare at your crazy outfits, it will give them a smile
  6. Come up with 5 Big Asks. These are the must do’s to ensure your Yes Day is a success
  7. The day is about activities together, not about getting stuff
  8. Finally, have the most fun you’ve had all year

Last Sunday, my girls had their first Yes Day and they loved it.  They have been looking forward to this day since they have earned it for doing great on their chores and in school.  I broke down the rules to them. I gave them a budget of $40 dollars each to spend on activities. I told them we couldn’t leave the state, not do anything dangerous or get a pet.  The day was finally here and when they woke up, it was go time.  Every morning when I have them, I ask what they want for breakfast and today, right off the bat it was “ice cream”. My youngest then wanted a s’more to have, luckily, she only had half. Mind you this is all before 10am.

Their first Big Ask was a place we have been before which is Kid City.  This is one of their favorites places to go.  Gas was needed for the trip and off to Citgo we went.  This gas station has one of those frozen slushie machines. They asked to have one, so that was a Yes.  Now we were finally off to Kid City.  If you haven’t heard of this place before, it is in the middle of Middletown and it is basically a fun place filled with pretend play for kids 1-7.  I would highly add Kid City to your list of places to bring your kids.  After spending about hour and half there, it was now time for lunch.  They said McDonald’s and Burger King respectively. My kids only get fast food occasionally, so for them it was a nice treat, plus I couldn’t say no.

After our lunch break, it was off to Five Below, another Big Ask. They wanted to go shopping for their siblings for Christmas. This was something I wouldn’t have said no too anyways but thought it was a nice gesture for them to spend some of their Yes Day doing (it also does not break the rule of “not getting stuff”).  It was about the middle of the afternoon, and they still had things to do on their list. We then headed to the arcade that is housed at Bowlero in Wallingford. Having the budget, they had about $28 dollars each left to spend.  Once inside, they wanted $15 to be added to their arcade cards. They played Halo, ticket games, skeeball and air hockey.  Once they spent that amount, they wanted one more refill of $10 each which would pretty much max them out.  After about an hour, we headed back home. 

The last things on their list were to play pin the tail on the unicorn as well as a new game created by my 5-year-old with me. At this point I enjoyed the experience and didn’t photo document the actual game but here is the breakdown of her game. Someone is blindfolded in a room; they get brought out to two chairs with two stuffed animals. There is then a person hiding behind something. For us, it was their gymnastics mat. They then had two chances to throw the stuffed animal over the barrier in attempts to hit them. If it does, then they are out, that’s about it. I will give her points for her creative approach.

Overall, they really enjoyed the day. They were so excited it was here but also sad it was over. I told them we can do it annually since it was a nice time for us to spend doing things together on their terms for a day.  In the end, I would recommend you trying a Yes Day with your family.