Saturday, August 29, 2015

Creating a "yes" environment.

I feel like the title of this post is sort of cliche, and I know I've heard that term from some teaching class/training somewhere, but it fits.

Before Norah started moving, I had the extremely naive thought that I would just "train my children really well so they don't get into anything they shouldn't." I logically knew that wasn't truly possible, but a part of me still dreamed it could be.

Now Norah is crawling and pulling herself up on everything. Her favorite thing is to empty things or take something apart. So, needless to say, we have had to rearrange a few things.

It's easy to dream about the future when you haven't experienced it yet, and it's also easy to look back on your past thoughts and think it's crazy that you used to think a certain way. Funny how God works and uses your experiences, isn't it?

So, Norah has two different toy areas, outside of her room. One is in the living room, and one is in the office/den. Her living room area is close to the TV stand, where we had some DVDs sitting out on the little shelf underneath, easily within reach. It's also not close to, but in the same room, as the fireplace. Her toy area in the office/den is close to a bookshelf, where I had books on the bottom.

Silly me for thinking that would work. I went through a few weeks of trying to keep Norah away from those things, and redirecting her back to her toys often. Way more often than I wanted to. Children are incredibly perceptive at a very young age. Norah knows that by trying to pull off the books/DVDs, she gets my attention, which is what she wants.

She is 10 months, so she doesn't really understand what "no" means yet or why I wouldn't want her to play with something. So, this week I rearranged those two problem areas, and it's been a beautiful solution for the both of us. It's way more of a "yes" space than a "no" space.

Not that I am against saying no to your child. There are certain situations in which that is perfectly acceptable, and even needed. For instance, our fire place. Norah does the same thing- try to crawl up and touch it- because she knows it gets attention. I can't move the fireplace, and I don't want her to ever think it's okay to touch it (even when it's not on), because she doesn't realize when it's on or not, and I don't want her to get burned. That's a situation where I will say no and move her away every single time.

But, on the other hand, those two areas with the books and DVDs don't have to be "no" areas. Could I have left it the way it was and continued to redirect her away? Sure. And if that's what you want to do in your own situations, that's fine. For me, it's worked so much better for both Norah and I, to recreate the space. It's more usable for her, and it was a pretty simple fix to turn the "no" area into a "yes" area.

Mom/teacher friends, what have you done to make a "no" area a "yes" one?


  1. Kelsey, I remember going through the same stage with Arya. There are now many yes areas in our living room and dining room. Life is a process, a beautiful process :) Great post! You said it very well!

    1. Thanks Inisha! Glad we can read each others blogs and, even better, talk about things in real life!


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