Jo-Lynne was named Kid Pointz newest positive parenting blogger after a large national search, judged in part by Mothering.com Editor-in-Chief Peggy O’Mara. You can read all about her nomination here. To read more entries from the national search visit the Kid Pointz blog.
Last week was a crazy roller coaster ride of emotional highs and lows. None of it is really any of my business to share, but suffice it to say, I have a new outlook on life this week.
I have decided to say yes more.
Yes to a trip to the pool, yes to a board game in the middle of the day, yes to a favor for a friend, and yes . . .
TO A DOG.
We have decided to look into getting a dog. I have to say “look into getting . . . ” because my children will never forgive me if I promise and then renege at the last minute. They ask me at least 102 times a day when we are getting the dog.
There are many good reasons why we have said no to the dog over and over and over again . . . allergies, expense, inconvenience, time constraints, travel arrangements, and did I mention expense? and allergies? and time constraints? and allergies???
Allergies are actually my BIGGEST concern. I have given up a pet before. It is without a doubt the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But the children know that if any of the five of us have any allergy/asthma trouble with the dog, it will have to go. Despite that, we have decided that we’re willing to give it a try.
Well, let’s just say that I have a little girl in my house who needs a special friend in her life, and I think a dog would fill that empty space in her heart. I am willing to put up with the expense and inconvenience that a little canine might bring into our lives to make this dream of hers come true.
And because life is too short to say no unless it really matters. And we have decided that all of our excuses are . . . just that. Excuses. Not that our reasons weren’t valid, but we’ve decided to take a chance and hope it pays off.
I also think that having a dog will be a great opportunity to practice positive parenting.
The kids know that this dog is THEIR responsibility. They will have to walk it, feed it, clean up after it and keep it happy. We’re planning to set up a system for all three kids to take part in doggie duty. I love these printable kids charts, and I’m thinking about trying out the Kid Pointz reward system.
If they don’t keep their end of the bargain, there will be consequences. Perhaps they will have the option to pay another sibling to take over their duties for the day if they’re not feeling up to it, but if I end up taking on doggie duty (haha… punny!) they will definitely be charged — either monetarily or with loss of screen time or with added chores.
For now, the task at hand is FINDING the right dog. I have a neighbor who runs a rescue so she is going to help us. The hardest part is being patient. We think we want some type of Bijon/Shih Tzu mix — they are supposedly good for people with allergies, and also friendly and gentle with children. Plus, we sort of like little dogs. But I’m wide open to advice and suggestions.
There is something really freeing and joyful about saying yes more. The smiles on my kids’ faces and the twinkle in their eyes is so worth it.
What are you saying yes to this week!??
Jo-Lynne is a former third grade teacher turned writer, blogger, brand advocate, social media manager, barefoot runner and hopeless coffee addict with a penchant for colorful handbags. She lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband of 17 years, three children (ages 7, 10 and 13), four hermit crabs and one terribly spoiled shih zhu named Savannah.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one’s best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.