NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Friday, the 26th of March.
Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.
Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.
MYRNA BROWN, HOST: And I’m Myrna Brown.
Coming next on The World and Everything in It: family fun.
A new comedy streaming on Netflix encourages families to make memories together.
And WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg says at the same time, it encourages parents and children to respect their God-given roles.
SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Allison Torres played by a sunny Jennifer Garner once lived by “yes,” neither too busy nor too afraid to pass up the adventures life offers daily.
She and her husband, Carlos, actor Edgar Ramírez, then said yes to one of the greatest adventures of all, children. But with those three children came something Allison hadn’t ever let herself live by: “NO.”
AUDIO: No became the new yes. No is part of the job. No is the light. No is the answer. Saying no 50 times an hour. Well that’s parenting.
For good reason, no, is many a child’s second if not first learned word. It teaches both physical and moral boundaries. But, used too often and without explanation, it can also stifle and frustrate children.
That’s how the Torres children come to feel about their stay-at-home mom. Allison isn’t a helicopter parent. She’s a loving, busy, and tired mom whose daily mission is to make sure her children grow up in a safe, secure, healthy home. Amid the daily parenting grind, she often forgets to enjoy her children’s personalities and imaginations.
Then a school coach suggests a “yes” day.
ALLISON: Yeah, well it’s not fair. I hear myself when I’m with the kids and I think I wouldn’t even want to hang out with me.
COACH: I’m so sorry, I have a suggestion. Sorry, I didn’t’ mean to frighten you. I was just eavesdropping. I have six beautiful kids at home. You want to know what my secret is? I give my kids yes days.
CARLOS: Yes days? What’s a yes day?
COACH: You pick a day in the not too distant future and for 24 hours you say yes to everything your kids want.
It’s a day where Allison and Carlos will banish “no” and say “yes” to everything their children want to do—with some ground rules. The kids have to earn their day of fun by completing homework and chores, and they can’t plan on illegal or dangerous activities. But that doesn’t preclude whacky activities like throwing lemonade-filled balloons or driving through a carwash, windows down.
When the “yes” day finally arrives, the Torres family embarks on an adventure of relearning how to enjoy and relate to each other.
NANDO: It’s yes day! Everybody wake up!
ALLISON: Who’s ready for yes day! Hahaha. You know my rule about no bouncing on the bed? Wanna bounce on the bed?
KIDS: Sorry guys, no screen time today.
Carlos? Are you serious?
KATIE: The entire day you can’t use anything that has a screen. That means no cell phone, no ipads, no laptops, nada.
Some of those adventures in this PG-rated film include mildly inappropriate bathroom humor and language, roughhousing, and some shirtless male models. The oldest daughter, Katie, also gets away with more sass than I imagine most parents watching would allow.
But Yes Day holds some valuable lessons for families. It inspires parents raising children in a busy, often scary world to approach their parenting with a lighter touch, to remember to laugh and have fun. Sometimes “no” is simply a way to avoid inconvenience or fear. For parents who just want to be friends with their kids, the film reminds them children crave authority, too.
CARLOS: This party’s over! Stop! I said STOOOP!
ELLIE: Yay, daddy!
CARLOS: I said the party’s over but the cleanup starts NOW!
The too-often sassy and disrespectful Torres children also learn a few lessons. They realize the truth of the Bible’s admonishment to “honor your father and mother that it may go well with you.” The world is a not-so-cool place without loving, authoritative and, yes, sometimes “lame” parents.
ALLISON: Katie! Oh honey.
KATIE: I am so sorry. You were right about this place. You are the best mom.
ALLISON: Don’t worry. Worse has been said to moms. It’s hard to let you grow up. That’s the truth. It’s just hard for moms.
KATIE: It would’ve been more fun to come with you anyway.
If parents choose to watch Yes Day with children, they may want to set some ground rules of their own. My advice: Don’t watch the movie with your kids if you don’t plan on offering them some form of a “yes” day, whether a “yes” hour or a whole day planned together. I don’t have children, but I can only imagine the guilt trips afterwards if there’s no application of the “yes” day concept.
And it’s a good idea to remind children that your family “yes” day won’t be—indeed, shouldn’t be at least for insurance purposes—as zany as the Torres family’s. But you can still find ways to say yes to making memories together.
I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.