The Daily Groove


Rich With Desire

It feels good to be a "yes-oriented" parent, but how do you respond to your children when they ask for more than you can give?

The real problem is that we've come to believe (and society reinforces the belief) that we are the only avenue through which our kids can fulfill their desires.

To find relief from that false burden, you need to start looking for evidence that we live in an abundant Universe which can provide for the fulfillment of all your desires — and your child's.

Then you can celebrate your child's desires without feeling obliged to be the channel through which all of them are realized.

Scenario 1: Feels Bad

CHILD: I want that bicycle.

MOTHER: (Frowning) I'm sorry, but we can't afford that... Besides, I don't think you're ready... (blah, blah, blah).

CHILD: Waaaahhhhh!

Scenario 2: Feels Better

CHILD: I want that bicycle.

MOTHER: (Smiling) Oooh! That's a great bike!

CHILD: Can I have it?

MOTHER: Yes, of course... You can have everything your heart desires... when the time is right.

CHILD: But I want it NOW!

MOTHER: (Unfazed... smile widens) Indeed, you do!

CHILD: (Hopeful) Will you buy it for me?

MOTHER: (Checking in with herself... open to the idea... hmm, it doesn't feel right... pleased with her clarity... still smiling) No.

CHILD: But I REALLY want it!! :-(

MOTHER: (Long pause... gets really centered... waits until heart feels wide open...) Sweetheart, I know absolutely that you can have this bike or something even better. I also know that you won't be getting it through me, at least not today. But I'm willing to hold this dream with you... I know that if we are clear in our desire and think often about how good it will feel when this dream comes true, it will come true. There are many, many ways to receive a bicycle, and Mommy is only one of them. Now, let's take a picture of you sitting on this bike with a big smile, and I'll put the picture on my screensaver so we can rekindle the dream every day when we see it! (Etc...)

Of course, this is not a prescription of what to say. It only demonstrates one of many ways a "no" can have a "yes vibe."

The only reason a child (or anyone) wants something is because s/he believes s/he'll feel good having it. When you say "no" with a "yes vibe," you teach your child that s/he can feel good NOW by enjoying the desire as much as its fulfillment, and you demonstrate that one's power lies in oneself, not in the objects of desire.

Just say yes to your child's authentic desires and yes to your own Inner Guidance and yes to everyday miracles.

To us, the word "yes" means "yes."

I like the concept and I am starting to apply this but actually verbalizing a "yes" to my son's request (when I am not intending to immediately fulfill it) seems cruel.

If my son asked for something and I replied "Yes, of course... You can have everything your heart desires... when the time is right," I think he would be very upset! Starting with "yes" would lead him to think (based on past experience) that I was going to get it for him, and he would get excited - the rest is grown-up talk that would pretty much breeze over his head! And when he realized I wasn't going to purchase the item, I am 100% certain he would think I was being cruel and dishonest, by saying "yes" and then not following through. I really think if I (the current adult me) was on the receiving end of that "yes," I too would be quite upset!

I'm trying to radiate "yesness" without actually saying "yes." :)

Re: To us, the word "yes" means "yes."

I agree that actually saying "yes" is unimportant, and as I wrote above, the hypothetical dialog is not a prescription of what you "should" say.

My intention was to convey the "vibe" through words, but the words do not necessarily dictate the vibe. That's why I disagree that "yes means yes," because if it doesn't have that yes-vibe, your child will receive a mixed message that is partially "no". And similarly, when you say "no" and are in complete alignment, it can have a yes-vibe, too.

You might want to ask yourself if you're limiting yourself to a legalistic interpretation of the word "yes" — like saying yes is a contract. The hypothetical mother in the dialog was using it as an affirmation of possibility and creativity, not as an act of submission or obligation, and certainly not as cruel trickery.

Funny how a little word can mean so many different things. :)

I would encourage you to re-read the dialog, but this time imagine that the mother is someone who has a long history of feeling abundant and knowing that when Life gives you a desire it also provides many avenues for the desire's fulfillment, and she is joyfully sharing that good-feeling perspective with her child, who is used to her unconventional attitude and doesn't assume her "yes" is a promise to buy the bike immediately.

Re: Rich With Desire

My kids have really been wanting a BMX bike, but both already have bikes they like and we parents have been very open to them having a BMX bike but haven't wanted to buy one. Last week on our way home we found a BMX bike on the sidewalk with a "Free" sign on it. It had a flat tire, but otherwise was in great condition. How funny that your example was a bike when that's the thing my kids just received from the universe!