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Recently I saw a video about a social experiment conducted by ActivKids Immuno Boosters by Cipla. The experiment was done to evaluate how often do parents say ‘NO’ to their children and how does that affect the little ones.
Before I share how profoundly the video impacted my thoughts on parenting, I’d like for you to watch the video
I saw the video and was quite surprised to see the results of the social experiment. Without trying to be judgmental, I thought – these moms are limiting their child’s social growth and slimming down their possibilities to build healthy relationships with peers by giving a negative reaction apropos to – playing outside, eating with peers and playing with a friend who might be under the weather.
I reflected on the video for a while and asked if it is actually happening…I couldn’t help but think that I am also guilty of the same. The reasons may differ, the situation may be unique to my family but the crux is same, I refuse to let my child have certain experiences which may be rudimentary to his overall social, emotional and personal development.
For instance, ours being a joint family has 5 different kinds of children, each having a very distinct yet strong personality. I often ask my 6-year-old to stay away from his notorious 9-year-old cousin, as I suspect he’ll get my son up to some or the other mischief.
What I Realized
Watching the #YesMom video made me realize that my son has practically cut down his outdoor play time to a significant ‘NIL’. And, I’m probably to be blamed for this. When I constantly nag him for playing with certain kids, he takes that negative reaction and builds his own perception from it.
Inspired by the video, I asked my son – Why don’t you go out to play these days? And he answered in all his innocence – “If I’ll play outside you’ll get upset with me. I know you don’t like it when I play with bhaiya!”
There it was, in a few words my son proved that I’m no different from the moms in the video. I understood how much a simple two letter word ‘NO’ was affecting my child. I instantly made a resolution to give up the ‘NO Mom Parenting’ and be a #YESMom.
#YESMom Parenting Mantra
I have started practicing the #YESMom parenting mantra and here are some benefits that I have been able to reap
No More Gadgets
First and foremost the most important benefit that every 21st-century mom yearns for, is – No more gadgets! Thanks to the #YESMom concept, my child is no longer immersed in the lap of a gadget for hours and hours, instead he is out playing with his friends and cousins.
My shy and introverted child often seemed disinterested in activities and social interactions. However, he is really passionate about cricket. Now that he plays with his group of friends on a daily basis the appreciation he gets for his batting skills has proven to be a confidence booster.
My son has taken after his maternal granddad and his body structure is a true imitation of his nannu. What I’m trying to say here, is that my dad is heavy built and my son is pretty much the same. Since I became a ‘#YESMom’, I have observed that the daily outdoor playtime is a great source of physical exercise that’s helping my son maintain a healthy weight.
A Happy Child
Another great change that I have observed in him is that he seems much happier. Playing with his cousins and having his parents approval for the same has made him a happier child. He no longer has to forgo his desire of mingling with his peers and furthermore he doesn’t detest his mom for not letting him enjoy like other kids do!
So far as advantages of being a ‘#YESMom’ go, don’t forget that by sending a positive message to engage with peers you are inculcating some strong positive values and morals in your child. You are telling your child not to discriminate between people. You are setting an example of equality, respect, and open-mindedness.
At the end of the day, aren’t these the skills that you want to inculcate in your children? Aren’t these the skills that’ll decide how well your child will adjust to his school, college or workplace? Aren’t these the skills that’ll define his success in his personal and professional relationships?
I feel the answer to all these questions is a big YES and the answer to raising well-adjusted children is becoming a #YESMom!