How To Make Your Home a Yes Environment

Photography: Daniela Rey

By Sam Milam

“Don’t pull on those cords!”

“Please stop taking all of the pots and pans out of the cupboard.”

“That vase is glass and will break if it falls off that shelf that is exactly your height.”

“Be careful with all of those framed photos, they are very special.”

“It’s not safe to drink that toilet bowl cleaner, little one. Stay out of this cabinet.”

The world is filled with “no”s and “don’t”s and “stop that”s. It can add so much stress for parents and kids if they have to constantly hear those words in their home environment. I often hear the excuse of “they need to learn the word no” or “they need to learn to respect my things”. Believe me, there will be no shortage of no’s in their life. It will probably be one of the first messages they learn. And respecting things comes with maturity. We can’t expect a child with an immature brain to act maturely.

Everything is new. Everything is exciting.

Expecting a small child not to touch everything within reach is setting that child up for failure. It is age appropriate for a little one to take out all the dishes they can reach; to try and reach the television screen; to pull on cables and plugins and blinds; to grab little trinkets and knick-knacks. Everything is new. Everything is exciting.

The solution to this constant battle of don’t touch is creating a Yes Environment.

Creating a Yes Environment doesn’t mean that you are “giving in” or being “soft” or “allowing them to manipulate you”. It means that you are setting your child up to succeed.


It is a space that has been curated specifically for young children. A space where they can roam freely and safely without causing harm to themselves or that urn of your great grandma’s ashes.


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