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when to start with manners? - Page 2

post #21 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckylady
start when they are babies and the secret is really quite simple - treat them as you want them to treat others. When they hand you something, say thank you. When you ask them something, say please. If they are playing and you need to interrupt, say "excuse me, may I interrupt you?"
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post #22 of 317
i didn't read any of the replies, so i'm probably repeating everybody else but i have never once in Rowan's life asked him to say please, thank you, you're welcome, or sorry. never once. but he says all of them every single time it's appropriate. it is ALL modeling in our case. please was the longest one to get, mostly because i'm the worst at saying that to DH. i never remember to. LOL i always said it to DS, but never DH and i think DS picked up on that. but now, at 2y9mo he says please all the time now too.

i really do think that modeling is the BEST way to teach it, because it comes from within them rather than because you're sitting there telling them what to do.

i must say i think i have one of the most well-mannered kids on the planet, and i never have to say a word. but i could be biased.
post #23 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Well, good luck to ya. The irony is that you cannot show politeness if you are embarrassing the child (putting him on the spot) - even if it's in a "nice" voice. So you can't have it both ways. You either model or you coerce.

I just won't be doing that to my kids.
May I ask why you think reminders are embarrassing?
post #24 of 317
There is just about nothing that grates my nerves more than having some well-meaning person "Remind" dd to say thank you or please. I usually tell them to leave her alone.....which is probably rude. But it would be incredibly rude for someone to remind ME to say something like that and it would be very embarrassing for me. Why do people think it is any less embarrassing for a child?

My parents never ever made me say anything that did not naturally come out of my mouth. If I was too shy or excited or forgetful to say the polite thing, my mom or dad said it for me. Guess what? I always say please, thank you, you're wecome, etc..... We have never asked my dd to say it either and she also says it naturally from modelling. This is most definately not a "have to" issue.
post #25 of 317
You know...we really do say "please" and "thank you" around here a lot, and yet my extremely verbal 23mo only uses them sometimes. : I'm glad it's working for all of you, but I'm not convinced modeling is always enough. My DD is not much of an empathetic or sympathetic kid. She's an investigator, not a people-pleaser--I hope that doesn't sound negative, but that's just her.

So, yes, I sometimes do ask DD to ask me again "nicely." She understands what that means--modulate her voice and add a "please." I also have encouraged her to say thank you to another by saying, for instance, "Wow, Grandma, thank you for the neat book! DD, can you thank grandma?" If she does, she does; if she doesn't, we don't push it, but I still do ask. I KNOW this drives some GD people crazy, as evident here, but honestly, I do want people to understand that even though DD doesn't always use good "manners," we are working on it. Let's face it--manners are important, and people are annoyed by people who don't use these social words. Is it a huge deal to my DD to be reminded to say please? Ennh. I do think it is part of my job to teach DD social graces, even if empirically I don't myself consider them The End-all Be-all. I would also teach her, for instance, not to spit or put her hands down her pants in public, not because those things are so terribly evil, but because not doing them is part of learning to function in society.

People get a bee in their bonnets about this issue, I've noticed. I think it's hardly one of the worst GD offenses.
post #26 of 317
23 months is very young to expect perfect manners. My dd could not even talk at 23 months...... I do think modelling works best. Is it 100% effective? No. Neither is nagging. The fact is that you cannot force anyone to do anything so how you approach it is important. I do not think most people would be at all surprised or offended if a 23 month old neglected to say thank you. I do not even expect that of 4,5,6 years olds. I do not really start to think manner-less people are "rude" until they are adults....but that in my opinion.

I am not sure why people think this is such a "little GD deal". It is about dignity which is a big deal whether we are talking about "little" things like manner or "big" things like stealing.
post #27 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
There is just about nothing that grates my nerves more than having some well-meaning person "Remind" dd to say thank you or please. I usually tell them to leave her alone.....which is probably rude. But it would be incredibly rude for someone to remind ME to say something like that and it would be very embarrassing for me. Why do people think it is any less embarrassing for a child?

My parents never ever made me say anything that did not naturally come out of my mouth. If I was too shy or excited or forgetful to say the polite thing, my mom or dad said it for me. Guess what? I always say please, thank you, you're wecome, etc..... We have never asked my dd to say it either and she also says it naturally from modelling. This is most definately not a "have to" issue.

Someone actually reminded YOUR child to do that? That is not right. Parents gently reminding is one thing. Other people have no right to do that IMO.
post #28 of 317
Quote:
May I ask why you think reminders are embarrassing?
Well, Yooper gave a nice explanation, but I'll add my thoughts... It's embarrassing beacuse it puts the child on the spot and call attention to their "failing".

This is all about the meaning content of words, and communication in general. I'll give a scenario. You remind a young DS to say "Thank You" to Grandma for, let's say, a very itchy sweater that she knitted him. He's not feeling all that grateful for it - b/c it hurts and she wants him to wear it all day - but is told to express gratitude anyway. He learns that "Thank You" is essentially a meaningless phrase, and that when you and dad "model" it, you're really just saying meaningless words too. Either he will resent being made to express thoughts that are not his, or he'll just do it and his ability to actually foster feelings of gratitude will be hampered. Maybe both. The point is that language usage helps form our thinking patterns, and misused language clutters and harms our ability to think a certain way - like having actual gratitude.

Another way to handle that situation would be that, when Grandma gives DS the sweater, you say "Thank you for thinking of DS. It was very kind of you. I'll keep it for him for a special snow day." That helps DS save face, gives him an out, so that he feel like you're on his side. It places no onus on DS to be grateful when he's not, but gives him the language pathways to start feeling that Grandma was actually showing kindness. Grandma gets thanked, and it's a positive interaction.

My post before is that if you are embarrassing DC (please let us know if Yooper's post didn't explain that enough...), it is essentially rude, and models rudeness instead of politeness. Your DC gets really mixed messages. Basically that politeness is phoney because it sure feels rude to them. So you can't both correct behavior and model politeness.

Hope that explains my position well enough...

ETA: I want to second everything in post #26. Yooper is spot on there too!
post #29 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Well, Yooper gave a nice explanation, but I'll add my thoughts... It's embarrassing beacuse it puts the child on the spot and call attention to their "failing".

This is all about the meaning content of words, and communication in general. I'll give a scenario. You remind a young DS to say "Thank You" to Grandma for, let's say, a very itchy sweater that she knitted him. He's not feeling all that grateful for it - b/c it hurts and she wants him to wear it all day - but is told to express gratitude anyway. He learns that "Thank You" is essentially a meaningless phrase, and that when you and dad "model" it, you're really just saying meaningless words too. Either he will resent being made to express thoughts that are not his, or he'll just do it and his ability to actually foster feelings of gratitude will be hampered. Maybe both. The point is that language usage helps form our thinking patterns, and misused language clutters and harms our ability to think a certain way - like having actual gratitude.

Another way to handle that situation would be that, when Grandma gives DS the sweater, you say "Thank you for thinking of DS. It was very kind of you. I'll keep it for him for a special snow day." That helps DS save face, gives him an out, so that he feel like you're on his side. It places no onus on DS to be grateful when he's not, but gives him the language pathways to start feeling that Grandma was actually showing kindness. Grandma gets thanked, and it's a positive interaction.

My post before is that if you are embarrassing DC (please let us know if Yooper's post didn't explain that enough...), it is essentially rude, and models rudeness instead of politeness. Your DC gets really mixed messages. Basically that politeness is phoney because if sure feels rude to them. So you can't both correct behavior and model politeness.

Hope that explains my position well enough...

ETA: I want to second everything in post #26. Yooper is spot on there too!

I agree that modeling is best, but a gentle reminder every now and then is not harmful, IMO. When alone, you tell your child that they are not going to like everything that they are given, but to say thank you anyway, because someone thought enough to give them that sweater or whatever.

Can't a child be taught to be thankful for the gesture, if not the gift itself?
post #30 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
Can't a child be taught to be thankful for the gesture, if not the gift itself?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
It places no onus on DS to be grateful when he's not, but gives him the language pathways to start feeling that Grandma was actually showing kindness.
Hope that helps the confusion...



Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle
(snip)...but a gentle reminder every now and then is not harmful, IMO.
Like I said in a post on the previous page, good luck if that's what you think is best. I just won't do that to my children.
post #31 of 317
The reminder can be as gentle as you want.....if you do it in front of other people, I do think their is harm in it and that it does send a conflicting message. I personally would not even "rehash" a situation later and tell dd what she should have done. They see and hear us do it. They know how to do it. They choose whether or not to do it themselves. "Discussing" it only puts a bad taste in their mouths about the whole manners thing. I would be happy to discuss it if dd comes to me wanting to know how she should have handled a situation or has a question.
post #32 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Hope that helps the confusion...





Like I said in a post on the previous page, good luck if that's what you think is best. I just won't do that to my children.

I missed the one little part about Grandma. Thank you.

I do not need good luck, but hank you for wishing me luck anyway.

BTW~I RARELY have to remind either of my children to be polite. I guess I did something right even if I am not full-on GD, huh?

I do not feel I am doing anything terrible to my kids. They are both happy, healthy and well-adjusted kids.
post #33 of 317
Changed my mind.
post #34 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCatholicMommy
I just want you to know that this is not always true.
We have modeled gratefulness/good manners and our boys still have to be reminded.

I totally agree.
post #35 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
IMO the idea of "have to" is a value judgement on your part.

So what if they don't say "please" everytime? Are they in danger? The only reason you "have to" remind them is that you are trying to force compliance.

Letting those "slips" go without "reminders" but with continued modelling will result in children who genuinely respect people and want to communicate that by speaking politely. Because they genuinely feel respected too, it's a language they will understand fundamentally.

I guess I just do not understand you. You seem to be implying that we constantly nag our kids to death every time they open their mouths. Far from it.

I am just going to have to agree to disagree with you. No hard feelings.
post #36 of 317
Well TinkerBelle, you do what you think best. My posts stand and I don't take back anything I said. I have no idea why you think I'm implying that you constantly nag or harrass your kids. I never said anything of the sort. I've already stated my opinion as clearly as I can, so I won't rehash this.

Since you don't need luck, well, happy trails?
post #37 of 317
Quote:
23 months is very young to expect perfect manners. My dd could not even talk at 23 months......
Let me assure you that my DD can talk your ear off. But let me be clear: I absolutely don't expect perfect manners from her. I don't think that's an age-appropriate expectation, and I would never shame her or punish her for not using good manners (not that I shame her or punish her at all, actually). However, a number of posters previous to me were saying that their very young toddlers had close-to-perfect manners due to (they think) modelling. I am pointing out that this is not always how things pan out.

I do direct her towards more conventionally polite behavior at times, yes--as I remind her to wash her hands before she eats and as I remind her that she must hold my hand in a parking lot and not scream in a restaurant. Does it harm her dignity when I remind her of *those* things, do you think? Does making any request of a child to do something they might not think of somehow harm their dignity? Aren't we perhaps overthinking a tad? This is a very young child, here. Trust me--I do not make a big fat hairy deal out of it. I use a normal, pleasant tone of voice and I certainly do not scream, "You COME BACK here and say THANK-YOU!!" (I've seen this on occasion, yes, but that is not what I am doing.) Also, as you yourself say, DD is not even two--you really think she is feeling hurt dignity when I ask her if she can say "Thank you"? I don't think she has that kind of an understanding yet, honestly.

And yes, I would expect my older child to politely thank Grandma for the itchy sweater, even if she did not like it. I would not force her to wear it, but I will teach my kids that there is such a thing as polite social mores, and sometimes they involve a bit of insincerity.
post #38 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by aira
Well TinkerBelle, you do what you think best. My posts stand and I don't take back anything I said. I have no idea why you think I'm implying that you constantly nag or harrass your kids. I never said anything of the sort. I've already stated my opinion as clearly as I can, so I won't rehash this.

Since you don't need luck, well, happy trails?

Okay, perhaps I misunderstood you. It has been "one of those days". But, as my view also stands, we can simply agree to disagree on this one. Have a wonderful day.
post #39 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
Let me assure you that my DD can talk your ear off. But let me be clear: I absolutely don't expect perfect manners from her. I don't think that's an age-appropriate expectation, and I would never shame her or punish her for not using good manners (not that I shame her or punish her at all, actually). However, a number of posters previous to me were saying that their very young toddlers had close-to-perfect manners due to (they think) modelling. I am pointing out that this is not always how things pan out.

I do direct her towards more conventionally polite behavior at times, yes--as I remind her to wash her hands before she eats and as I remind her that she must hold my hand in a parking lot and not scream in a restaurant. Does it harm her dignity when I remind her of *those* things, do you think? Does making any request of a child to do something they might not think of somehow harm their dignity? Aren't we perhaps overthinking a tad? This is a very young child, here. Trust me--I do not make a big fat hairy deal out of it. I use a normal, pleasant tone of voice and I certainly do not scream, "You COME BACK here and say THANK-YOU!!" (I've seen this on occasion, yes, but that is not what I am doing.) Also, as you yourself say, DD is not even two--you really think she is feeling hurt dignity when I ask her if she can say "Thank you"? I don't think she has that kind of an understanding yet, honestly.

And yes, I would expect my older child to politely thank Grandma for the itchy sweater, even if she did not like it. I would not force her to wear it, but I will teach my kids that there is such a thing as polite social mores, and sometimes they involve a bit of insincerity.



I applaud your post. That was great. And SO what I was trying to get across. Children are not perfect. They are not always going to remember things and as parents, we have a responsibility to raise them to be decent and polite.
post #40 of 317
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I am pointing out that this is not always how things pan out.
I think the point here is, who cares? Why is the goal parroting perfection? Why not sincerity? Why not genuine communication of empathy - even if it does take a little longer to reach "perfection"?

When it's time to wash hands, I say, "Let's wash our hands together." Not, "Go wash your hands please." I think its a world of difference in how the DC feels about themselves and their relationship with you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
DD is not even two--you really think she is feeling hurt dignity when I ask her if she can say "Thank you"?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I will teach my kids that there is such a thing as polite social mores, and sometimes they involve a bit of insincerity.
More power to ya. I want my kids to learn to be appreciative of people's intentions, not to be insincere. You don't have to want that for your kids.

Ain't no thang to me.

Well, I did rehash even though I wasn't gonna. OK, I'm outta here - we'll disagree.
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