As parents, we get used to saying “no.” It becomes a bad habit. I like to do things and go to places where there are NO “no’s.” A family walk to the beach is usually one of those things. Even though I’m usually up for an adventure, I recently found myself on the verge of chastising my daughter and her cousin when they picked up an old box. I was thinking:
- “It’s waaaayyyy too big.”
- “Where has that been?”
- “Why is it sitting on the sidewalk?”
- “You can’t carry that!”
I opened my mouth to say one of the above when my sister halted my objections. She explained: “I already told them – if they can carry it then they can bring it.” And you know what? They carried it! It was a huge challenge and they happily rose to meet it. Down the long sidewalk, across the lawn, and to its final resting spot on the beach.
It wasn’t an easy trek. If I had asked them to carry it as a favor, I would have heard no end of objections:
- “It’s too heavy.”
- “Why are you making us carry this?”
- “How much further?”
Instead, it was their decision. They had a plan for that box! It was to become a living room and a place to hold their pretend campfire. They were so proud of themselves for achieving a goal they set for themselves.
You can’t always predict where your kids will take an idea. So next time you want to say “No!” — ask yourself “Why not?” instead.
Need More Cardboard Inspiration?
- Unstructured Play with Cardboard Boxes
- Children Opt for the Box Over the Toy from Slow Family Online
- Cardboard Magic