• Erin Schoen Marsh

Why Every Family Should Have a Real ‘Yes Day’ and How to Pull It Off (Parents Magazine)

Having a "Yes Day" with your kids can be fun and beneficial. Here's how to make it happen.


My kids are obsessed with Netflix's popular feel-good movie Yes Day. And with outings limited due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising infection rates, we opted for our very own "Yes Day" as our weekend fun.


Our unanimous takeaway: every family should have a real "Yes Day"—especially since it can be rewarding and beneficial for everyone involved.


Saying yes opens us to new challenges and opportunities, invites collaboration, empowers, and affirms our individuality, facilitates an environment where it's safe to try and fail, and ultimately makes life more fun.


It also transfers some control to kids, which research says is important for parents to do. "Research has found—as far as what leads to happiness in people and not just children—that saying 'yes' gives a sense of control in one's environment, and children often don't have a sense of control," says Kamala London, Ph.D., a developmental psychology professor at The University of Toledo. "Even in very loving homes, kids don't have control—even over something as simple as what they eat."


Why is it necessary for kids to gain some control? "[It allows] them to make decisions and sometimes fail so they can learn what they're good at and try on different hats," says Dr. London. "When we aren't letting kids make choices, they don't find what they are good at, and they lose that self-efficacy piece—one of the best predictors of happiness."


Despite the benefits, the idea of transferring power to your little ones for a day can sound exhausting. Here are a few tips to pull off a "Yes Day" without a hitch.


To read the article in its entirety, visit Parents Magazine.