What is Yes Parenting?


There are hundreds of researches explaining the negative effects of authoritative and overprotective parenting. Parents are realising that kids are individuals with their minds and preferences. To grow, Children need to be provided with warmth and support so that they can explore the world with a sense of security. When children are constantly being told no they lose their curiosity to learn. As parents, we want to ensure that our children live comfortably, avoiding any mistakes or obstacles, but then how will the child grow? Children need the freedom to make their own choices even if it means having ice cream for dinner. 

Read More: Helicopter Parenting: Impact on Kids’ Independence and Self-Esteem

Recently, many new parents are following the new trend of “yes parenting”. As the name suggests yes parents avoid saying no, letting the child make decisions for themselves. Whether it’s eating dessert for breakfast or skipping school, yes parents try their best to let their child decide what they feel is the best for them. 

What Is Yes Parenting? 

“Yes” parenting emerged to acknowledge the importance of providing a supportive environment where children can satiate their curiosity and explore their interests safely. This new trend is a refreshing break from old authoritarian methods. Yes parenting aims to encourage parents to support and be affirmative of their child’s decisions or requests. Often as a parent, it can be overwhelming listening to the demands and questions of a child filled with endless curiosity and energy. After a hard day of work or chores saying no is the easiest way out. Research indicates that saying no too much can dampen a child’s willingness to learn (Gordon, 2020). But, this does not mean that we need to say yes to any and every demand a child makes, instead it encourages parents to create a positive environment that fosters problem-solving skills

Benefits Of Yes Parenting 

Yes parenting has won the hearts of many families, as more and more parents are joining in on this trend: 

Builds Trust:

The main goal of yes parenting is to create a nurturing environment for children where they feel safe, loved and heard. At the root stands empathy and understanding, acknowledging that children are experiencing the world for the first time and deserve to fulfil their curiosity and grow. It focuses on building trust and strengthening the child-parent relationship by encouraging them to make their own choices within a set boundary. 

Positive Self-esteem and Image:

By constantly affirming their choices and encouraging them to stay true to their hearts, children build confidence and are less vulnerable to peer pressure and manipulation. They feel heard and wanted encouraging them to make valuable contributions to society. 

Avoids Unnecessary Conflicts:

While conflict is an inevitable part of life, through yes parenting unnecessary conflicts can be avoided. It can be a liberating experience for parents to let go of unnecessary rules of how things should be. Children can express their feelings easily as they trust their parents and feel heard and valued.

Encourages Independence and Creativity:

By letting children explore the world and make decisions, parents encourage their children to become more creative and develop problem-solving skills. One of the biggest benefits of yes parenting is that children learn to trust their decisions and become more independent as they learn from the consequences of their actions. 

Disadvantages Of Yes Parenting 

No parenting style is perfect, yes parenting comes with its own set of challenges as parents struggle to maintain balance  

Difficulty In Setting Boundaries:

Yes parenting aims to create an affirming environment allowing children to make their own choices, but what do we do when a toddler refuses to hold hands in a busy market or a teenager refuses to do their homework? It can be difficult to enforce rules and boundaries while encouraging independence. Without clear boundaries, children can find it hard to adjust in situations where they have to adhere to strict rules and structure. They might face challenges in adjusting to the environment outside their homes such as schools or workplaces.

Read more: 9 Poor Habits that Children Inherit from Their Parents

Exhausting For Parents:

Constantly trying to cater to their child’s demands or trying to find an alternative can be emotionally and mentally draining. Especially, if they are constantly saying yes even when they need to say no. Parents may not find enough time or energy to meet their own needs and desires. Yes parenting can turn parents into people pleasers as they often find themselves sacrificing and neglecting their own needs to please their children. 

Can Make Children Stubborn and Entitled:

As they are not used to being told no, kids may develop a sense of entitlement, since they don’t understand that the world does not revolve around them. Yes parenting has the potential to create self-centered kids that do not know how to cope when things don’t go their way. 

Damages Resilience:

If kids never hear no they might never develop coping skills to deal with rejection or failures. Children need to learn how to handle disappointment and develop resilience to bounce back after failure. 

Yes parenting is a great method to provide kids with a nurturing environment to reach their full potential. But, it is also important to strike a balance and set clear boundaries. On an average parents tend to say no more, stifling their child’s curiosity. By incorporating yes parenting parents can create an empowering environment to help their kids grow into confident and resilient adults. 

References +

1. Gordon, S. (2020, January 23). What Is Yes Parenting?. Verywell Family. ng 

2. Porter, D. (2024, March, 11). What Is Yes Parenting: Benefits, Drawbacks, and How to Practice.

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