Embracing the Yes Life


saying yesLast night my daughter woke up from a nightmare saying “no, no, no.” As I held her little body in my arms, her head resting on my chest, she sank back into a deep sleep. I listened to her breathing and thought about what she called out, and it broke my heart a little. 


I believe that children need boundaries, and as parents it is our responsibility to teach our children. We teach them about love, empathy, happiness, sadness, self-control, patience…life. But it is also important to say “yes” as much as we can. Yes to spontaneous trips, or yes to playing in the mud and getting messy. Saying yes to leaving the toys on the floor sometimes because I would rather cuddle up under a blanket-fort reading a book with my daughter than clean. Or even yes to painting our legs just because. I want to say yes because it teaches and encourages self-confidence and growth. I want my daughter to grow up to be a responsible young lady.

Saying yes doesn’t mean that I never say no or that I don’t set boundaries, but it does mean that life is just that…life. I am certain that I want her to experience life in its full splendor, not just the stuff that fits neatly into my agenda. So, I have decided that I am going to stop saying no so much and let my daughter be a toddler, because after all, that is what she is. 

She is going to throw her food on the floor sometimes because she likes watching our dog run over and gobble it up. She will climb on the back of the sofa and probably even fall off. She is going to want to stay outside even though it’s time for dinner. And I am going to start saying yes to all of those things, because a two-year-old isn’t meant to sit still and behave all of the time, and I want her to be two and loving life!

To what things do YOU need to start saying YES to your kids?

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Hyland is mom to two-year-old Isla and fur-baby, Chester, with a full-time career as a corporate attorney. She grew up in New Orleans, where she developed a passion for cooking that later lead her to culinary school in New York. Although she isn’t often preparing beef borguignon or mile high soufflés, those skills come in handy when juggling a demanding career with picky toddler eating habits. She later moved to Denver where she attended law school, acquired a love for skiing and biking and started a family. In order to be closer to family as a single mom, Hyland packed up her bags and moved to Portland, where she is growing to love the rain through the eyes of her sweet and imaginative daughter. Hyland loves traveling and is currently looking for the next passport stamp for her and Isla.


  1. Lovely post, Hyland. I try to remember to say yes as often as possible, it’s so worth giving our yeses to our kids. Thanks for the reminder.

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