As an actor, I have always loved improv. Improvisational acting sharpens your skills in so many ways: it helps you focus on the here and now, become a better listener, be supportive of your partners, and most importantly to say YES!
A sure fired way to kill a scene is to say NO to whatever is offered. NO makes a scene come to a screeching halt, whereas saying YES can take it to unexpectedly wonderful places.
Improv skills come in handy on and off the stage. You become adept at making the best out of whatever situation is presented. As a parent, I find that saying NO to my kids is not always the answer.
Yes, it’s true that sometimes NO is unavoidable (i.e. safety/health first), but sometimes as parents we need to say YES!
This morning I woke up and planned a Memorial Day picnic for myself and the girls. It’s a holiday and although Unknown Papi has to work, I still wanted to do something “special” with the girls.
Turns out that Put Pie, my 3 year old, has developed a severe aversion to the wind and wanted nothing to do with being outside.
Put Pie: Mama, we stay home. Peeze?
Unknown Mami: But Mi’ja, I thought we would go have a picnic.
P.P.: (with tears in her eyes) Mama, the wind. Me no like the wind. Me want to stay home.
I could tell we were entering full blown crying mode and I will be honest, my first instinct was to continue on with my plan because gosh darn it we were going to have fun. I was going to make this Memorial Day memorable. Instead we compromised. We quickly walked to a nearby store, dodging the dreaded wind the whole time, gathered supplies, and came back to have an indoor picnic.
In the end, the girls had a blast…
and so did I. We spent time together, had fun, and used our imagination.
The best part was when Put Pie looked at me and said, “We having so much fun, I want to do this every day.”
I said YES to Put Pie and still got exactly what I wanted, a memorable Memorial Day.
My takeaway: Say NO when you have to because sometimes you have to, but consider the possibilities of YES!!!