09 April, 2012


"What matters is that, for the rest of their lives, both my daughters understand that to reach a goal, they must put one foot in front of the other and persevere. They know that they must expect and prepare for challenges. They know to ignore the naysayers and, instead, to have faith in themselves and their abilities to learn what they need to know. Above all else, they know that little does not mean weak, that girls are indeed strong, and that practically anything is possible."

UP: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure
By Patricia Ellis Herr

I try to say "Yes" to my daughter whenever possible.

I try to encourage her to reach just a little bit further. I try not to give in when she gives up and tells me "You do it." I try to entice her with small adventures and new challenges. She's only 2-years-old... and I hope I am a good enough mother to continue saying "Yes" as she grows older.

But I'm sure there will be times when it's not possible to say "Yes" - or at least not with a few strings attached.

Patricia Ellis Herr's account of her adventures climbing mountains with her daughters strikes me as a great example of the wonderful moments and life lessons that can happen when you say "Yes" to your children. Not only to agree that they can and should try That New Thing, but also agreeing when they ask you to do it with them. Agreeing that YOU can and should try That New Thing, too.

I was amused and inspired by the author's chapter titles which give life to some strong parenting suggestions: Some Things Will Always Be Beyond Your Control; Ignore the Naysayers; Lose the Paranoia; Divide and Conquer; Roll with the Punches; Little Things Matter (a Lot); We Can't Always Make It Better; Enjoy the Journey While It Lasts. Those are simple statements, but just think how good they are as little nuggets of parenting guidance!

I don't want to miss a single possibility with my child by saying "No." I don't want to miss a moment of adventure, but I also don't want to miss an opportunity for learning or for a life-lesson or for growth. I want my child to know extreme encouragement. I want my child to know that I will always have faith in her. I want my child to know "Yes" as often as possible.

For more quotes collected from this book, visit Borrowing Wisdom.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Patricia Ellis Herr's UP: A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure to read and discuss as a member of the online book club From Left to Write. The thoughts and opinions expressed above are my own. Click here to purchase your own copy of this book.


  1. I agree. I try to say Yes to my kids as much as possible. Though with my 2 year old, I do say "No" more than I should.

  2. Yes! Try that new thing!!! I love this. My son is nearly three and every day I remind myself not to just do it for him (even thought it's quicker)