There is a saying amongst the parenting crowds I wander that for every “no” there should be nine yeses, or basically a 10:1 ratio.
It may sound absurd to some or gratuitous to others, but from my perspective it keeps life positive. Even that sounds obtuse, but it seems to work in our household. I say “yes” a LOT. Does this mean that I allow the kids to play in the oven? or sharpen the knives?, no.
What seems to work for us is that with proper boundaries established in the household, the kids ask for permission to do things, and for the most part those things are really great things like “can we have a pillow party?” or “Can we play in the mud?”
Now, the downside of all these yeses is that I find myself chasing my tail some days. The “Can we play in the mud” being a poignant example.
Luke has been digging a hole in his sand/dirt area, and it was only a matter of time before he filled that whole with water and then there is a mud pit to frolic in. A mud pit frolic in at 9am is great for photos, but is a lot for dad to deal with in his daily routine. lots more laundry, lots for showers, lots more cleaning, but did I say yes? I sure did.