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  • My concept on saying Please...

    I am noticing, as I pointed out in another post, that I seem to be more strict than most on here, or maybe I just haven't read enough. At any rate, one thing I noticed is the "please" when you aren't really requesting.

    "Please don't pull mommy's hair"
    "Please don't pull the doggy's tail"
    "Please put your shoes on"

    In our house, we only say "Please" when "No" is a choice. Otherwise we state it...

    "No pulling mommy's hair"
    "No pulling the dog's tail"
    "You need to put on your shoes"

    If it isn't truly a request, we don't state it as a request.

    Am I the only one who believes this?

    For those who do request everything, can you explain to me WHY you would make a request when honestly you don't want them to decide "No"? Or is "No" an acceptable response and I am misunderstanding?

  • #2
    people use "please" for many reasons. some use it b/c they truly do believe everything is a request. your child has a choice whether or not to hit, put on their shoes, etc. others use it as a model for politeness. they hope their children will model it back. there are many who use it just out of habit and never really mean it. and, like you, some only use it for true requests.

    Comment


    • #3
      I realized a while ago that my job as a parent is not to control my child, but to guide her. Telling her what to do is taking a dominating approach, which is not the type of relationship I want to have. I don't tell her what to do. I explain what I would like her to do and why, and try my hardest to model that type of behavior. I don't want her to think it's ok to just demand that other people do things, so I'm not going to do that to her.

      If I were an employee and had no choice but to do what my boss said, I would still prefer that he say "Please" instead of just demanding. Just as a sign of respect for the work I am doing, you know?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by AwakenedMama View Post
        I realized a while ago that my job as a parent is not to control my child, but to guide her. Telling her what to do is taking a dominating approach, which is not the type of relationship I want to have. I don't tell her what to do. I explain what I would like her to do and why, and try my hardest to model that type of behavior. I don't want her to think it's ok to just demand that other people do things, so I'm not going to do that to her.

        If I were an employee and had no choice but to do what my boss said, I would still prefer that he say "Please" instead of just demanding. Just as a sign of respect for the work I am doing, you know?
        I completely understand that. And for many, MANY things I do make it a request, when time is not an issue, when I intend on helping, etc. But for things like hitting, or hurting others, well, I just don't agree. I don't feel that is a request at all. And I agree, I cannot control whether my child hits, but I can control my reaction to it. Meaning, I can walk away, I can remove myself and not allow them to hit me. I am modeling for them that I want them to have enough self respect not to allow anyone to harm them. That if they are ever hit, they need to state firmly, "You may not hit me" or just plain "Stop" and get away from the situation. I don't feel that a request at that point is appropriate, whether it's an adult at work, a spouse, or a child. Does that make sense?

        The same goes for injuring other people or pets. To me, that is not at all a request. I have more than just a duty to protect my child, but to protect others that my child may hurt. I cannot make my child stop hitting, but I can inform them that it is unacceptable and then remove them from the situation.

        As I read more posts here, I am getting a feeling that this board is more UP/NCP than gentle discipline or positive discipline. While I feel, personally, that UP/NCP is not right for my family, I respect everyone for using the parenting style that works best for their family. I just wonder if this is the right board for me.
        Last edited by Petie; 05-18-2009, 09:51 AM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Petie View Post
          As I read more posts here, I am getting a feeling that this board is more UP/NCP than gentle discipline or positive discipline. While I feel, personally, that UP/NCP is not right for my family, I respect everyone for using the parenting style that works best for their family. I just wonder if this is the right board for me.
          i can see why you would say that, as there are many UPers here. however, this is not a forum to perpetuate any one particular idea w/in the scope of positive discipline. this is a place for guidance w/in the support of the 8 Principles. now, that may include TCS (Taking Children Seriously), UP (Unconditional Parenting), CS (Consensual Living), among many others, but we are certainly not definited or limited to any of those particular philosophies.

          the main point of Positive Discipline (or BFing, or Nighttime Parenting) is not PD for PD's sake. it is to nurture strong bonds and attachment through relationship. so, if that is your goal, you ARE welcome here!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Petie View Post

            As I read more posts here, I am getting a feeling that this board is more UP/NCP than gentle discipline or positive discipline. While I feel, personally, that UP/NCP is not right for my family, I respect everyone for using the parenting style that works best for their family. I just wonder if this is the right board for me.
            What is UP/NCP?

            we are about half and half, sometimes I say please and other times I don't. Often it depends on DS's mood of the day and how many times I have already asked the question.

            Comment


            • #7
              UP Unconditional Parenting
              NCP Non-Coercive Parenting

              I too, base alot of how I state things on the child's mood for that day. Some days, I know that simply requesting works really well. Other days, on bad days, sometimes I have to use a heavier hand, so to speak.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Petie View Post
                UP Unconditional Parenting
                NCP Non-Coercive Parenting

                I too, base alot of how I state things on the child's mood for that day. Some days, I know that simply requesting works really well. Other days, on bad days, sometimes I have to use a heavier hand, so to speak.
                I've never heard of NCP

                can you educate me on what the two mean?

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wouldn't know how. I don't use either. I am more of a gentle discipline, positive discipline person. From what I understand of NCP, they don't believe in using any rewards or punishments, everything is discussed between parent and child as equals, etc. But as I said, I don't fully understand those two, and I don't want to give a false impression about them. I use limited rewards and consequences, and my children are not allowed to discuss certain issues. Certain rules are set in stone, while others they CAN and DO discuss with us. But I don't feel that I fit into the NCP arena very well. Hopefully someone will come on that practices these and can explain better.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Petie View Post
                    I wouldn't know how. I don't use either. I am more of a gentle discipline, positive discipline person. From what I understand of NCP, they don't believe in using any rewards or punishments, everything is discussed between parent and child as equals, etc. But as I said, I don't fully understand those two, and I don't want to give a false impression about them. I use limited rewards and consequences, and my children are not allowed to discuss certain issues. Certain rules are set in stone, while others they CAN and DO discuss with us. But I don't feel that I fit into the NCP arena very well. Hopefully someone will come on that practices these and can explain better.
                    I read an interesting book about rewards and punishments....puts it much more eloquently than I ever could...

                    http://www.diesel-ebooks.com/cgi-bin...son-eBook.html

                    I like Kohn, he seemed to think that it didn't work, I must reread it or buy it as I was lent it by another parent whn mine was very tiny, it didn't make sense then but maybe now I should read it, I think (and don't quote me) that it says rewards and punishments are not instrinsically motivating.....

                    Read the blurb in the link that gives you and idea.....


                    HTH Missy

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      for UP, www.alfiekohn.com gives the best info, straight from the source. the article "5 Reasons to Stop Saying 'Good Job' " is a good place to start.

                      "Taking Children Seriously" has its own site as well: www.takingchildrenseriously.com

                      i've never heard the phrase "Non-Coercive Parenting" but think it may be "Consensual Living".

                      the differences between these 3 styles can be very subtle to the outsider, but for those who go to the core of a particular style, they can sometimes find the differences glaring.

                      what's great about API and the 8 Principles, is that we can all come here to learn from and support each other, no matter which particular nuances we choose. as i said before, the point is the relationship that you are developing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I know about Kohn but didn't know the "name"

                        I think the different types are similar to religion. It's the final result that matters vs the path taken

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I wanted to say I use a combination of requests and statements.

                          Please do not take the papers of the mans desk. I say please because I like to model manners.
                          I rarely hear people say please, thank you or excuse me and I find it disheartening. Yesterday a women stepped in front of me at the store and knocked some things out of my hand. I said excuse me gently and she just stared at me like with that look I get a lot of what do I say. I watch this same woman just command her children and there is no demonstration that their children are individual beings and that even though they are doing something that may not be appropriate at the time, no one is saying please or thank you. Their children talk to each other and to their parents the same way.

                          I want the cereal, instead of may I please have the cereal. The mom complains they don't say please, but the children are doing as they see, not as they are told.
                          Then they say, well it wasn't something to be expected, it was a request. Maybe to the parent it was, but to the child it wasn't a request really. They truly want the cereal just as much as the parent wanted them to get off of the cart. Then I wonder at what age in that household does a child become an actual person who is deserving of being heard?

                          I also know there are families out there that don't complain when their children state what they want without please or thank you. This is just their form of communication and that is fine for them. There are a lot of families like that. Our local group has families like that, which sometimes causes conflict, but I remind my "social etiquette" families that again that is their culture, not the other families. Living in Brooklyn for so many years has helped me with that one. Each culture varied block to block so did the "social etiquette" and "manners". It was not that people were being insulting, it was their culture.

                          I had tried the statement only method with my girls when they were younger and for the longest time they used statements only to talk, but after awhile I noticed they were somewhat cold and detached. I wasn't comfortable with it. It feels better if someone asks you for something with a please and then says thank you. They are appreciative that you are taking the time to make things better.

                          For me it isn't about the actual act but an opportunity to learn manners and how to speak to another human being. The please is for not just my child, but about the person being harmed. Adding a please and a gentle tone reminds my child that this is a situation that requires kindness and humanity.
                          As a social learning situation it is also saying to them, I know you are learning this and I know it is going to take time, thank you for trying so hard to learn to be a better person. When I say please I stroke his hand very gently and if it was another person getting hurt, I stroke them gently and say I am sorry they were hurt.

                          I am also raising a child with emotional intelligence not just physical knowledge. (There are some wonderful books on emotional intelligence you can research with)
                          There are times, when it is dangerous I will say Do NOT run out into the street. It is an inanimate object and therefor I am not too worried about him having an emotional connection to it.

                          Eventually almost all children learn not to hurt pets or each other, but with the added lesson of manners they also learn to treat each other well instead of just commanding each other.

                          It has worked well for me as I have had only to do it for a couple of weeks years ago. I have people comment constantly that they are amazed at how sweet Ronnie is with other babies and children and I think back t the YEARS of struggle with my girls or foster children where I "expected" them to know or just command them into doing it and i wish someone had shown me an easier method to have them connect to each other and to me. Saying that it may not work for you or another person, but I like to hear all sorts of methods so that I can learn from it. Almost 27 years later and I am still learning. Each one of my children is different so I need to always be finding new methods and different ways to approach things. I don't want to be part of a group that only does things one way.

                          This board has a lot of range, and I am on other boards that some would consider way out there, but I love seeing the varied styles of parenting and what works for each family is different. There are so many variables about why one method works for one family and not for anther. Culture, social economic status, religion, regions we live in, family dynamic... all of those vary so all of our methods vary. Most of it comes down to being gentle and possitive and being comfortable in our choices.

                          Your method may work with another family so thank you for sharing it with us. It helps parents get that variety that they need.

                          Peace & Blessings,

                          Jo
                          Last edited by EcoMaMa; 05-19-2009, 06:34 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thank you all for your replies. I do appreciate you taking the time to explain. And hearing all the reasons has helped me understand where you are all coming from.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EcoMaMa View Post
                              I wanted to say I use a combination of requests and statements.

                              Please do not take the papers of the mans desk. I say please because I like to model manners.
                              I rarely hear people say please, thank you or excuse me and I find it disheartening. Yesterday a women stepped in front of me at the store and knocked some things out of my hand. I said excuse me gently and she just stared at me like with that look I get a lot of what do I say. I watch this same woman just command her children and there is no demonstration that their children are individual beings and that even though they are doing something that may not be appropriate at the time, no one is saying please or thank you. Their children talk to each other and to their parents the same way.

                              I want the cereal, instead of may I please have the cereal. The mom complains they don't say please, but the children are doing as they see, not as they are told.
                              Then they say, well it wasn't something to be expected, it was a request. Maybe to the parent it was, but to the child it wasn't a request really. They truly want the cereal just as much as the parent wanted them to get off of the cart. Then I wonder at what age in that household does a child become an actual person who is deserving of being heard?

                              I also know there are families out there that don't complain when their children state what they want without please or thank you. This is just their form of communication and that is fine for them. There are a lot of families like that. Our local group has families like that, which sometimes causes conflict, but I remind my "social etiquette" families that again that is their culture, not the other families. Living in Brooklyn for so many years has helped me with that one. Each culture varied block to block so did the "social etiquette" and "manners". It was not that people were being insulting, it was their culture.

                              I had tried the statement only method with my girls when they were younger and for the longest time they used statements only to talk, but after awhile I noticed they were somewhat cold and detached. I wasn't comfortable with it. It feels better if someone asks you for something with a please and then says thank you. They are appreciative that you are taking the time to make things better.

                              For me it isn't about the actual act but an opportunity to learn manners and how to speak to another human being. The please is for not just my child, but about the person being harmed. Adding a please and a gentle tone reminds my child that this is a situation that requires kindness and humanity.
                              As a social learning situation it is also saying to them, I know you are learning this and I know it is going to take time, thank you for trying so hard to learn to be a better person. When I say please I stroke his hand very gently and if it was another person getting hurt, I stroke them gently and say I am sorry they were hurt.

                              I am also raising a child with emotional intelligence not just physical knowledge. (There are some wonderful books on emotional intelligence you can research with)
                              There are times, when it is dangerous I will say Do NOT run out into the street. It is an inanimate object and therefor I am not too worried about him having an emotional connection to it.

                              Eventually almost all children learn not to hurt pets or each other, but with the added lesson of manners they also learn to treat each other well instead of just commanding each other.

                              It has worked well for me as I have had only to do it for a couple of weeks years ago. I have people comment constantly that they are amazed at how sweet Ronnie is with other babies and children and I think back t the YEARS of struggle with my girls or foster children where I "expected" them to know or just command them into doing it and i wish someone had shown me an easier method to have them connect to each other and to me. Saying that it may not work for you or another person, but I like to hear all sorts of methods so that I can learn from it. Almost 27 years later and I am still learning. Each one of my children is different so I need to always be finding new methods and different ways to approach things. I don't want to be part of a group that only does things one way.

                              This board has a lot of range, and I am on other boards that some would consider way out there, but I love seeing the varied styles of parenting and what works for each family is different. There are so many variables about why one method works for one family and not for anther. Culture, social economic status, religion, regions we live in, family dynamic... all of those vary so all of our methods vary. Most of it comes down to being gentle and possitive and being comfortable in our choices.

                              Your method may work with another family so thank you for sharing it with us. It helps parents get that variety that they need.

                              Peace & Blessings,

                              Jo
                              REALLY interesting what you say about culture, as in the Middle East where I lived before Aus it isn't part of a sentence to make distinctions between 'give me something' and 'please give me; 'may I have', it is only a direct statement that is used, I thought people were so rude at first but that's the culture and the language and there isn't a translation for the varied 'polite' ways we ask or request in the English language. So it's more the 'way' you say it there as opposed to the words used.

                              Very interesting indeed isn't it...thanks for your response that was good to read!

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