Is one of your resolutions to stop saying “no” so. darn. often. to your littles? While “no” is an absolute when it comes to safety situations, it’s completely possible to flip your script and start saying, “Yes!” more often. The next time you catch yourself in a day-long string of negatives, take a look at the times you can just say “yes.”

Woman and boy in superhero capes

1. TV Time: We all know what too much screen time can do to a child. But before the latest mommy-shamer makes you feel like your parenting skills are sub-par for turning on an episode of Beat Bugs, stop and think about just how much time your kiddo really spends in front of the electronic box. If nixing screens completely is your parenting style, no one is telling you to change. But if you’re scared to let your child watch an hour’s worth of quality, kid-appropriate programming, consider saying yes. It won’t cause irreparable damage. Really.

2. Play Time: You let your tot play all day long, so that’s a yes already. But where are you when your kids are on their 400th game of Chutes and Ladders? The next time your child asks you to play with them, say yes. And step away from your phone: This means really getting in there and playing dress-up, trains, games, or whatever else they want to do.

3. Snack Time: Sugar, salt, fats, and preservative-packed foods are no-no’s in your house, and we get it: You want the best for your kids. And that means feeding them organic apples instead of overly sugary sweets. But sometimes we all need a treat — including your child. While saying yes to all of your child’s snack whims isn’t advisable, allowing a brownie, cookie, ice cream cone, or another special treat every so often is A-okay.

4. Dress-Up Time: Saying yes to imaginative play activities is a definite in your home. But when it comes to everyday costume wear, do you find yourself saying no way too often? Even though it may make you cringe, it’s perfectly fine to let your kid go out into public wearing their rainbow-striped tights, polka-dot shorts, and the firefighter jacket from last year’s Halloween costume. A yes to your tot’s style picks is a yes to creativity!

5. Bath Time: This yes can go either way — to take a bath right now or to wait until tomorrow. When your water-loving kiddo begs to bathe in the middle of the day even though their regular bath time is at night, say yes! As long as the bathtime isn’t drying your child’s skin or causing another health issue, go ahead and let them splish and splash. The same goes for skipping a bath. Unless your child is exceptionally dirty, missing one bath won’t send them into dirt-related shock.

6. Art Time: The glitter. The finger paints. The glue. Oh, the mess. If your stomach starts flip-flopping whenever your tot points to their art box, try to breathe through it. Even though art can get messy, it’s also fun. Beyond that, it helps your child to develop fine motor skills, creativity, critical-thinking abilities, and so much more. Forget about the mess and turn that no into a yes.

7. Outside Time: It’s raining, and while it’s not a thunderstorm, hail, and flooding type of rain, it’s still… wet. And, of course, your kiddo wants to go outside. Your first thought is to say no way, because everyone will be soaked, but getting soaked is the point. Playing outside in nature is an ideal way for your young child to spend at least part of the day, and provided that the weather doesn’t cause a safety hazard (too cold, too hot, lightning, you get the picture), take your child outside for a yes-day of play.

8. Meal Time: You are not a short-order cook, but that doesn’t mean you always have to say no to a special meal for your child. Feeding everyone the same menu doesn’t always work out. Sometimes you really, really want vegetable lasagna, even though you know your preschooler absolutely, positively won’t eat it. Go ahead and say yes to your own food whimsy while you say yes to your child with a more enticing-to-them entree.

9. Time Off: Between preschool, soccer, karate, ballet, swimming, and tee-ball, your child is tired. Take a break and say yes to a day off. Take a personal or sick day, plan a low-key activity, and stay home for some serious parent-child together-time.

What’s your favorite parent-child activity? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo.

(Photo via Getty)