#SOL21: Decisions

It began with a statement. Something lost. Something found. How to send it in the right direction. Possible solutions. Possible outcomes. Hardly a disaster.

Of course, it began with a cell phone inadvertently left behind.

Clear choices to retrieve it.

An extra 15 minutes (one way) to retrieve it. Plus time for a quick chat.

Time well spent.




How many choices in life are truly dichotomous?

I’ve come to hate “but” whether it is attached to the yes or the no.

Maybe that’s a personal issue for me.

Currently, I know that I appreciate “when” attached to either the yes or the no. It just doesn’t feel as negative or as conversation stopping as “but”. Maybe that’s my perception.

“Yes, we can play dinosaurs when we pick up the cars and trucks.”

Yes, we can have ice cream with our cupcakes when we finish dinner.

Maybe it’s restating the desired action first before the WHEN that works for me that didn’t work when I said, “Yes, but pick up the cars and trucks first.”

And then again maybe it is ageism. Maybe fewer things are black and white and the WHEN just feels like a larger gray area. Maybe it’s a grandma thing.

Listen to your next three yes or no responses. What follows? Are there conditions? Which ones work for you?

Right now I’m still collecting data.

WHEN seems to be winning and feels right for me.

For me, adding a condition of “time” and not an ordinal number makes it less of a negotiation and yet a bit more specific. I’m willing to keep studying when I say “yes” or “no” which words am I tacking on!


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum.

Check out the writers and readers here.

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10 responses

  1. Oh! I like this. I feel like “when” is still conditional but much more positive or asset focused. But feels like a deficit mindset ; it even makes the task seem in doubt. “But only when you pick up the cars and trucks” implies difficulty or doubt or something. “when” feels open ended. It might not happen, but also, maybe that’s because we aren’t done playing with the cars and trucks so maybe we can just play with dinosaurs tomorrow?

    Words create worlds. I have some work to do in this area to be honest.

  2. Words matter. I love yet although it didn’t work for a six and almost three year old. When did work this time and felt a little more like choice instead of compliance!

  3. I guess it all comes down to connotation. We don’t always give credence to the feelings one word evokes over another.

    1. Good point. Watching to see if a single word signals a shutdown is more critical than one word that seems magical!

  4. Fran, I too have never liked “Yes, but…” in any context–meeting or with children. I also like “Yes, and…” Maybe in a situation like: “Yes, and as soon as the toys are picked up we will get the ice cream.” It seems like great research you are doing!

    1. Thanks. Denise. Now listening for AND.

  5. As a grandmother, I want to just say yes. I realize, though, it’s not always the best answer. When works for me as well as Denise’s and. After reading this post, I plan to be more aware of what I actually say. Thanks.

    1. Well, of course, yes is the go to phrase!
      And yet, it is nice to avoid total disaster when toys are everywhere or they disappear at pick up time.

      101 ways to say yes responsibly!

  6. Yes!! I was taught this as a teenager – “every time you say ‘but’ one might as well forget everything before that word.” LOL. For some reason, it stuck with me. When it comes to my toddler, I’m going to try and see how often I use when instead of but. 🙂

  7. That really does make so much sense and is so much more positive…I think the but word tends to get everyone’s back up! Thanks for the slice and suggestions!

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