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Old 05-16-2012, 05:31 AM   #31
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

We don't have a tidy up routine, but I (try to) have one thing tidied away before we start the next. Without hijacking the thread, let's just say it's pretty much *always* a battle, even if the next activity is something they really want to do. Dd1 missed gymnastics, her absolute favourite activity, last week b/c she wouldn't tidy up or even accept any help
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:35 AM   #32
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Good point, Amazement!
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:47 AM   #33
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

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Originally Posted by Amazement View Post


If I said "Will you..." to a student or a child and they answered "No, I don't want to," I'd think it was rude. So I guess maybe I use "Will you please" as a command. But then again, I ask my husband, "Will you please..." a lot, and I'm not in the habit of issuing him commands. But then again, if I said something like, "Honey, will you please help me with these groceries?" and he said, "No, I don't want to," I'd think that was rude too. If he had a good reason for saying no, he'd give it, and then I'd be fine with it. But I'd be if he just said no without explaining. So I guess in our house "Will you please" is a gray area between an option and a command.

If something is truly optional I say, "Do me a favor? Could you..." Favors are optional. And I guess the conditional tense is also a way of signaling that it is optional, although I've never thought about it that way before.

I think this is a very valid point. I totally understand the point of not "asking" our children to do something if it isn't optional so that we are clearly communicating. But, I rarely "command" my husband to help me with something and I would be offended if he refused when I "asked". So, obviously I'm not communicating very clearly but I don't know a better way.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:00 AM   #34
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

DH and I talked about this some last night. I am still mulling it over. He does not speak the same way and thought I was doing it intentionally. While we were discussing, Hammy started to do something and without thinking I said something like "E can you please stop doing X while Daddy and I are talking?" She just kind of looked at me and kept doing it. I corrected myself and said "Stop doing X. You are too loud." And she said okay and went to do something else.

I think the way I TELL is too similar to how I ASK and is confusing.

Of course, then DH and I got into a discussion about first time obedience, and he thinks that regardless of how it is phrased, that the child should never say NO to the parent. We are going to talk about it more later though when we have time without distracting kids.

---------- Post added at 10:00 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:56 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryPoppinsIAin't View Post
This is another one of those grown-up things that NEVER made sense to me.

My parents did it all the time. And it drove me NUTS, because I could never tell if they really meant "please" or if they were just "being polite". Tone of voice, body cues, none of it "read" clearly enough to me, or consistently enough, and every time I thought I'd figured it out, I'd read someone wrong and get confused again. And then when *I* would use "please" as a just being polite thing, and get angry when the person said no, I would get told off for being disrespectful or getting above myself. Same if I just said "Do this, thank you." Even if it was just to my brother. I had to say please, and I wasn't allowed to get mad if the person said no, no matter what it was ("will you please get your trucks out of the toilet and go away so I can pee????" true story), but when an adult said "please", I wasn't allowed to say no. Very confusing, and all it really succeeded in doing was making me mad and obstinate out of frustration.

If you have a child that readily picks up on and understands unspoken social signals like tone of voice, body language, facial expression, then you may have more success with the "politely worded command". But if your child has any sort of hang-up in that area (whether it's age related, sensory issue, autism, etc), then he or she may a) not be able to grasp the "authority asks politely but it still means do it now" concept, or b) see right through the whole double standard of it and refuse to cooperate until the adults start to behave in accordance with their own rules! That's basically what happened in my head... I couldn't figure out the complexities of the game, so I just decided to stop playing until someone simplified the rules.

I've noticed this problem in the way I communicate too. I was so heavily conditioned to "ask politely" that I screw myself up in talking with my husband. Because he wasn't raised that way, when I say "Please think about what you want for dinner", he hears "Please think about what you want for dinner, and deciding that you don't want any is fine too." Problem is, what I really mean by that is "Decide what meat you want for dinner, go downstairs, get it out of the freezer, and put it in a bowl to thaw so that come 4pm I can cook it for you." And then 4pm rolls around, nothing's thawed, and nobody's acting like they have any intention of cooking, and I get mad because hello, the nursing mama needs to eat, people! So I'm trying to break the habit and say what I actually mean. Hopefully this will help when JJ starts getting verbal and needs me to be clear in my communication!

My childhood was JUST like that! And your second paragraph makes sense in relation to my DD1.

Now I have to think about how I always ask that Hammy say "No, thank you" if someone does something she doesn't like (ie trying to take a toy, or invading her personal space). Just a loud "No!" seems rude. Does the same thing apply here? She has a limited vocab still so I have to give her a script with words she can use.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:19 AM   #35
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Maybe I am missing something, but saying "please" in our culture does not equal a question, so please does not make a request optional. Even law enforcement use please, when asking for your paperwork after pulling over.

In my very black and white thinking grammar rigid home:

Please do abc. = Do abc now.
Will you do abc? = Do you have any plans in the future to do abc?
Can you do abc? = Are you capable of doing abc?
I want abc done. = Expressing a want, not a command or request. (response often is "I want xyz done.")
Time to do abc. = Timekeeping, not nessesarily directed at the audience. (response often is "yeah, so")
Would you do abc please? = a request
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:38 AM   #36
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by sstarcake View Post
This is a great thread. Eye opening, even. But what about the 3 year old that still says "NO!" to the direct command? That's where the 5 steps comes in, no?

The 5 steps in this house just end up looking like me (struggling to maintain my composure) physically dragging said 3 year old (who is doing the limp noodle thing, while whining "no....no....no....") around, cleaning up toys or whatever. Me holding her hand closed over the toy, then prying her hand open to release it into the box.....
Okay, I'm going to answer this-and you're probably not going to like my answer much I want you to know though, that when I asked this same exact question-and I got the same exact answer I am about to give-I hated it too. And it was right. And I'm not sure I'm feeling so great about that. BUT...I definitely commiserate.

So if the 3yo is melting down all over the 5steps and you end up walking them through things in that manner you can:

1) Use playful parenting
2) Use when/then statements ("When you've finished then we get to have a snack!")
3) Simply and calmly remind them that nothing else will happen until they are ready to clean up so they can take all the time they want but it's gonna happen (which is not always possible depending upon the situation but it IS an option).
4) Have a routine or set them up for success with fewer toys or a "one toy out at a time rule."
5) Reflect feelings and calmly reinforce that it needs to happen and so you will help them through it.

And yet...there's still a possibility that you're just going to have a child that NEEDS to go through a phase there they are screaming and melting down as you help them through as they learn that Mommy's words have meaning and we need to clean up after ourselves. And that's miserable. Sometimes all of the "tricks" just don't "work" because happy isn't the only acceptable emotion and you have a child who feels very strongly about certain things and has zero issues with expression those feelings very very loudly.

---------- Post added at 09:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:36 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy Piadosa View Post
Maybe I am missing something, but saying "please" in our culture does not equal a question, so please does not make a request optional. Even law enforcement use please, when asking for your paperwork after pulling over.

In my very black and white thinking grammar rigid home:

Please do abc. = Do abc now.
Will you do abc? = Do you have any plans in the future to do abc?
Can you do abc? = Are you capable of doing abc?
I want abc done. = Expressing a want, not a command or request. (response often is "I want xyz done.")
Time to do abc. = Timekeeping, not nessesarily directed at the audience. (response often is "yeah, so")
Would you do abc please? = a request
In our house a direct command uses the words: "You need to" It's not necessarily the presence of "please" that makes it a question -it's the wording that presents it as an *option*.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:56 AM   #37
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by sstarcake View Post
This is a great thread. Eye opening, even. But what about the 3 year old that still says "NO!" to the direct command? That's where the 5 steps comes in, no?

The 5 steps in this house just end up looking like me (struggling to maintain my composure) physically dragging said 3 year old (who is doing the limp noodle thing, while whining "no....no....no....") around, cleaning up toys or whatever. Me holding her hand closed over the toy, then prying her hand open to release it into the box.....
I tried this one time and it felt so demeaning (to the child) that I simply don't do it. (Said in love ) I strongly feel that we should treat children with respect, and "forcefully helping" felt disrespectful, to me. It also makes them quite disinclined to comply next time. I prefer to build good/happy/productive associations with cleaning up.

I agree with Heather's list And each child has their trigger, if you will. My oldest responds well to "when/then". My middle could care less He likes it when I join - and typically cheerfully helps me.

Also, I rarely get good responses to clean up "commands" with a 3 yr old if they're in a funky mood
"Let's clean up the markers" whilst singing the clean up song leaves it open. And, yes, you will sometimes clean up most on your own. But it's an option if the above list isn't working.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:09 AM   #38
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamasara View Post
I think this is a very valid point. I totally understand the point of not "asking" our children to do something if it isn't optional so that we are clearly communicating. But, I rarely "command" my husband to help me with something and I would be offended if he refused when I "asked". So, obviously I'm not communicating very clearly but I don't know a better way.
OK, so here's a scenario...

DH will you please help me bring in the groceries

Sure just give me a few minutes

This wouldn't offend you, right? Well, that is basically what Lala did, she didn't want to do it right then, so she said no. Since children don't have the tact that adults do, they are often expressing themselves the best way they know how, in that particular moment. That is how I look at it. Hey, my teen has already gotten to the point where when asked, he will say, "let me finish this level first." To me, the difference you see isn't necessarily being rude but an inability to be as polite as an adult.

---------- Post added at 08:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:03 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by magpiedpiper View Post
Now I have to think about how I always ask that Hammy say "No, thank you" if someone does something she doesn't like (ie trying to take a toy, or invading her personal space). Just a loud "No!" seems rude. Does the same thing apply here? She has a limited vocab still so I have to give her a script with words she can use.
I see saying thank you as completely different than a please. I make sure to say thank you, ESPECIALLY when it's something that the other person has to do that they really don't want to. The reason being, a thank you is a sign of appreciation that the person has done something for you. So I do see that as completely different.

---------- Post added at 08:09 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:06 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy Piadosa View Post
Maybe I am missing something, but saying "please" in our culture does not equal a question, so please does not make a request optional. Even law enforcement use please, when asking for your paperwork after pulling over.

In my very black and white thinking grammar rigid home:

Please do abc. = Do abc now.
Will you do abc? = Do you have any plans in the future to do abc?
Can you do abc? = Are you capable of doing abc?
I want abc done. = Expressing a want, not a command or request. (response often is "I want xyz done.")
Time to do abc. = Timekeeping, not nessesarily directed at the audience. (response often is "yeah, so")
Would you do abc please? = a request

Honestly, last time I got pulled over, he didn't say please. I get what you're saying though. And if that works in your home, then that is great. My children don't get those subtleties though. They are quite subtle differences and for children that don't pick up on the little cues, those are bound to get confused.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:18 AM   #39
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Man, this thread has been such a great reminder of so many little things that I've gotten too relaxed about. Thank you all so much!
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:07 AM   #40
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

I will "slip up" and say/ask "please do xyz"... they won't move or will tell me no (which really irritates me! it's a trigger for me!) so I respond with an honest "I'm really sorry. I did ask, but I didn't mean to. I meant to say "do xyz!" To which they will whine and complain and do it (and I will start singing Do everything without complaining from our Bible verse CD )

Since it is a trigger for me to hear them tell me no I try try try to never give them the option to say no when I really don't want to hear it. Like if we are already having a bad day or something. The times I "slip up" and ask when I don't mean to are when we've been having really good days for a while, so I'm generally able to remind myself easily without losing it.

I do ask them to do things sometimes when I really mean it as a question. That sounds like "will you please xyz?" When I say that they know they can tell me no. And then someone else generally will try to "polish their halo" and gain favor and will say "I'LL DO IT!!!"

And now that Jayden is getting older and has a handheld video game thingy I find myself having to bite my tongue and go back to 3yo language... "Turn the game off, put it down, and xyz"

My kids also don't do well with transitions... I can't really do the "five more minutes" thing. So I don't tell them things to do unless I want it done then. It makes it so much easier to get them to do something. It's very consistent that when I say something it happens then.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:52 AM   #41
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

Interesting discussion.
What about when they start telling you "Get me some juice." instead of asking you for juice?
I have looked at asking them to do things nicely as modeling how to be polite instead of bossy.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:09 AM   #42
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

I am kindof confused now.

I usually state my words clearly in command tone, but I say please, because as stillsmallvoice said, its about being polite. It feels peaceful..

I have been experimenting at just stating what I want today.. And DH asked me why I was so snippy.

I said it with the same tone, just left off the please, and now I sound snippy?

I am not sure how I feel about this.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:06 AM   #43
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

I think the please/not please thing is a personal preference. I prefer saying please to dd, partly because I prefer it when people say please to me. If other people find that it confuses their kids, then I totally understand why they would leave it off. But I also think that at some point it's worth having a conversation with kids about how people communicate differently, and that for some people saying "please" or "will you please" means that they're trying to be polite and respectful to you, not that they're giving you options. Not in a "Look how poorly other people communicate" kind of way, but in a "Your life will be a whole lot easier if you learn how to deal with other people's communication styles" kind of way.

Of course that discussion would have to wait until kids are old enough to get it. I don't know when that would be. My oldest dd is only 2.5. We're still working on responding to requests with something other than a NOOOOOO and a meltdown.

---------- Post added at 02:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:52 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by stillsmallvoice View Post
What about when they start telling you "Get me some juice." instead of asking you for juice?
I have looked at asking them to do things nicely as modeling how to be polite instead of bossy.
I say please to DD and she still says things like "Get me some juice." Then I tell her to try again and ask nicely. Maybe my modeling "please" to her makes it easier for her to understand why she has to ask "May I have some juice please?" On the other hand, it may also make it harder for her to understand why I can say no when she asks for juice, and she can't say no when I ask her to put away her shoes. There's just no getting around the fact that adults and kids are different. I have the authority to tell her that she has to put away her shoes, but she does not have the authority to tell me I have to give her juice. I can see why that could be confusing, but it's true and it's something I need to teach her as she get older.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:10 AM   #44
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

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Originally Posted by stillsmallvoice View Post
Interesting discussion.
What about when they start telling you "Get me some juice." instead of asking you for juice?
I have looked at asking them to do things nicely as modeling how to be polite instead of bossy.
I guess that's where I watch what I demand my children to do. I don't say, "go get me some tea". I ask, if I want them to, for them to get me some tea. So they don't even think about demanding that I get them drink. When I do give commands, it's usually for them to clean up their own belongings, or for them to get ready for their activity. My kids hear plenty of pleases, but not for things that are non-negotiable.

For instance....

You need to pick up your shoes

Would you please help your brother get his shoes on

You will stop pulling the dogs tail

Would you please put some water down for the dog



See, for me, if it's optional, then they get the pleases and things in this house are rarely non-optional. Those are saved for very specific instances.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:06 PM   #45
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Default Re: Pet Peeve #5 by my own mom

I have spent twenty minutes trying to reword this so it doesn't sound snarky, but I can't seem to pull it off without changing what I want to say, sooo... Not being snarky, promise!!

Maybe it's just me, but I've always thought that most adults don't give kids near enough credit. Thinking that a toddler who is taught that instructions worded as commands are exactly that, commands, and instructions worded as questions are requests (ie, optional) will obviously grow into an adult who can't tell the difference between a friend's request and a boss's (or a cop's) politely worded instruction kinda seems up there with more mainstream folks who see a breast-feeding toddler and somehow extrapolate a breast-feeding twelve year old.

I'm still working on how it would all look in practice, exactly, but it seems to me that it should be possible to teach a child to be polite (and that parents always have the option of "no", while kids don't always have the option) while still telling when I mean "do it now" and asking when I mean "it's okay if you're busy".

The best teachers I ever had always established the rules, THEN eased up on the strict observance of formality. Taught the basics before things got complicated. Not the greatest analogy, but... identifying an instruction that was worded as a request seems like a secondary skill... so they might need to learn the primary skill of id'ing and following a plainly stated instruction first?
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So if I say something painfully naive, feel free to smile and shake your head as you laugh quietly to yourself.

ISFP. I-84, S-60, F-51, P-53

Laura John, 2006

JJ - , '11

Ana - , '14


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Last edited by MaryPoppinsIAin't; 05-16-2012 at 04:18 PM. Reason: clarify the point
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