Many years ago I heard someone say, "Would you rather be right? or happy?"
It's a great question, isn't it. There are times when the answer should be "right." There are some things we can't negotiate on, for moral or ethical reasons. But sometimes, especially when we're talking about family relationships, we would choose for our family to be happy.
I'm not saying here that you should accept something that's wrong just to keep peace or that you should compromise your beliefs. I'm talking about the small, petty things that often plague our relationships and up the contention in our homes, thus driving out the spirit.
When we pick the wrong battles and dig in our heels over things that don't really matter, we're choosing to have a spirit of contention instead of the Lord's spirit.
Marjorie Hinckley, the wife of our last prophet, gave some good advice to mothers. She said, "I tried hard never to say 'no' if I could possibly say 'yes.'
I've discovered that I'm a stick-in-the-mud by nature. I don't really like things that cause extra mess (Play-doh makes me break out in hives), I'm super practical (some might say cheap) and the first thing that pops into my head when my family asks for permission to do something is no.
After I read Sister Hinckley's quote, I took a hard look at myself and realized that there were times when I was saying no out of habit. Now I try to pause and really think things through before I give an answer. I've set out some guidelines I go through before I give an answer. They are 1) will it cause bodily harm? 2) will it put someone in spiritual peril? and 3) can we afford it? If it passes these questions, I try to say yes.
One thing I've discovered is that I want to say yes when they're asking to do things together. If my kids are asking to go to a concert or a movie with each other or as a family, so that bonds and family friendships grow, I want to say yes. yes, yes!