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Top > Traditions Just for Kids > The "Yes" Jar
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The "Yes" Jar

About a year ago I read an article about creating tradition in your family. The article gave a few ideas for traditions that you could celebrate with your children. One of the traditions that I instantly fell in love with was the "YES" jar. Even without children of my own, I could see the value in celebrating such a tradition. The idea of the "YES" jar stems from the idea that parents spend so much time saying "NO" to their kids that it starts to feel like that’s all they do. I knew the drill. I have enough friends with kids to know that "NO" is a popular word in the vocabulary of a parent. NO you can’t go to the park and play. NO you can’t go to the zoo and ride on the carousel. NO you can’t go to McDonald’s. NO you can’t... NO! NO! NO!

The jar is used to capture all the "NO" ideas that you can safely and practically put off until another day. Then you pick one day a month where your child can pick three "NO’s" (or any number that you choose) from the jar and turn them into "YES’s". That day your child can have chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, skip the bath before bedtime, have their friend over for dinner and so on. Children love the idea and parents don’t have to feel like Captain NO.

Soon after I read the article about the "YES" jar, I spoke to my friend Pam about the tradition. She immediately identified with the idea. She said she felt like "NO" was all she ever said. Pam liked the idea of the "YES" jar so much that when I went home that night and made a "YES" jar for Pam and her daughter Maddie. I gave it to her the following weekend and she loved it. Now I hear stories from their "YES Day" celebrated on the third Saturday of each month. It’s added a fun new element to their life and will create a lasting memory for both of them. Since then I’ve given "YES" jars to several of my friends with children and they all love them. I encourage you to make your own "YES" jar. Give them to friends and enjoy all warm fuzzies that come from saying "YES".

Colleen C., Madison, WI

Say “Yes” in a whole new way

Check the list below for a variety of ways to say "Yes". We’ve provided translations for “Yes” in several languages. Turn the "Yes" Jar into an educational opportunity and teach your child a new way of saying "yes" each month.
Spanish – sí
French – oui
German – ja
Italian – sì
Portuguese - sim
Dutch - ja
Norwegian - ja

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