If there's one thing parents from every walk of life can agree on, it's that kids tend to ask a lot of questions -- sometimes the same ones over and over again. In Shonda Rhimes' house, one of those oft-repeated lines is a sweet but occasionally-ill-timed request: "Want to play with me?"
When she's not at home with her three daughters (ages 13, 3 and 2), Rhimes is hard at work as the powerful creative force behind hit television shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and "How to Get Away With Murder." The life of a prolific show-runner and single mom can be a whirlwind, and the ability to say "no" might seem like a necessary survival tactic. But, as Rhimes tells Oprah during an interview for "SuperSoul Sunday," she tried something radically different for a year, both personally and professionally: Turning those nos into yeses, especially when it came to her daughters.
"I said 'yes' to my kids in a way that I had never done before," Rhimes says.
So, when 3-year-old Emerson would ask her mom to play, Rhimes began giving a different answer.
"There are so many times that I've said, 'Well, I can't right now, honey. I'm doing this. I can't right now,'" she says. "I decided that every single time she said to me, 'Want to play?' I would say, 'Yes.'"
Whether it was convenient or not, Rhimes committed.
"It doesn't matter if I'm wearing an evening gown and heading out to the DGA Awards or I have my bags on my shoulder and I'm heading out to work," Rhimes says. "I drop everything I am doing, I get down my hands and knees, and we play. It's 10 minutes. And she loves it."
This playtime doesn't just delight the toddler; it's had a great impact on Rhimes as well.
"It's changed my sense of being a mother and my sense of pride in being a mother," she says. "And it's changed our relationship."
Rhimes' full interview airs this weekend on "SuperSoul Sunday," on Sunday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.
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