Getting my 17 month old to say please - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I guess I let it go too long and now, he knows what it means, and knows how to sign it and say it but refuses. I don't think I've ever heard him say it when I ask. How do I deal with this? he says lots of other words, but throws a hissy fit when I tell him to say please for something. Today, he wanted to nurse, but would just fuss, so I wouldn't nurse him until he said please, or signed it. I finally just said to him if he would sign "milk" please then he could nurse. He went all day just distracting himself and didn't get to nurse and then at bed time, I just didn't give him the opportunity to fuss about it and took him in his room and nursed him to sleep. He passed out because he missed his nap earlier. Am I going about this wrong? Should I keep on him about saying please? I don't want him to think that if he fusses he'll get his way. I always thought he was too young to understand, but then realized that he did understand, and just didn't want to say it. Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 01:04 AM
 
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Honestly, i don't think its worth the battle. Just say in a nice voice, "You can say Please Mama" and go about your business. If he does it great, if he doesn't that's OK too. Give him a high five or something when he says it. Often, when I ask my daughter to say please when she wants to nurse she signs it after she's latched on. I always acknowledge it with thank you. Modeling is key, so use it yourself with him and others. Can I have a bit please, Please show my your toy... I think modeling is more important. I don't think having a battle over it is going to help. Just let it go and keep on modeling and giving him the opportunity to say/sign it.

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#3 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 02:50 AM
 
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Wow, I didn't know you could get 17m old to ask nicely for things! My lo just screamed for everything at that age. And if she didn't get right away, she freaked. Everything was soo urgent. People say two is a contrary age, but, man, my lo is soo much more reasonable at two than she was at 17months. If she whines and points I remind her gently to "say can I please have ...." and she totally gets it.
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#4 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 03:09 AM
 
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Wow, I think it's way too young to expect a 17mo to say "please". Just model the language you want to use in your family and it will come about eventually. If he asks for something in a way you don't like, you can rephrase how you'd like him to say it, but forcing or expecting him to say "please" will set up a lot of conflict between you and your ds at this age.
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#5 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 03:11 AM
 
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Not an age-appropriate expectation.

Some 17-month olds are not even TALKING and the part of the brain responsible for understanding the idea of behaving in a "good" way or in a "bad" way is not fully developed before18 months.

You can of course encourage him to say please by doing it yourself when appropriate and by repeating what he wants with a please at the end so that he eventually learns.

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#6 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 03:13 AM
 
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I think you have to decide how important saying please is to you in the big scheme of things. I agree with AKislandgirl about it perhaps not being worth the battle.....just now. I always tell parents to pick their battles as that always leave you in control and not to view it as giving in. Children need guidance about everything but they also need to learn how to express themselves. It is a fine line we walk as parents.......lol!!
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#7 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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We sign please. Jack wont say it either

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#8 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 08:18 AM
 
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I waited until DS could say it consistently before "requiring" him to say it. I would just ask him to say please, and if he doesn't, don't worry about it.. but once he starts catching on and saying it more, then you can start requiring him to say it. 17 months is definitely on the early side. My DS was saying it frequently by then, but he also had 150 other words he was saying at the time. Every child is different and what is developmentally appropriate for one is not for another. I think your child is not ready for this just yet.

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#9 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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I never even thought to have mine say please

 
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#10 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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I've asked my 16mo to say it but he doesn't want to, and I don't see the point in forcing it or 'requiring' it at such a young age -- especially for something like nursing. It does drive me nuts that he is so rude & insistent asking for things like nursing but I just keep reminding myself that he's still a baby, and it's not fair to deprive him or make a big deal out of it yet. When he can consistently say it without prompting then maybe it would be OK to 'require' it (or at least request it) when he forgets... though I still feel it should come more naturally, not be forced out...

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#11 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 10:58 AM
 
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I think if you "insist" on it, you're setting yourself up for a big power struggle. Kids learn courtesy and manners by your good example and gentle repetition, without you having to make a big issue out of it.

But in any case, 17 months is way too young for this kind of expectation. He's still just a baby, and fussing when he wants something is still a very developmentally appropriate way of communicating. A lot of kids this age don't even talk at all. If it were me, I would be very thankful that my child was able to communicate his wants and needs in an understandable way at all, and give the pleases and thank yous some time. If you feel strongly about please, say it for him-- "oh, you want to nurse? We say 'please nurse.' Okay, baby, come here and let's nurse." Over time, and with your gentle repetition of this sort of thing, he'll get the idea. And when he does say please, say something like, "I like when you say please to me."

In my experience, the ability to ask politely is something that comes slowly between 18 months and 3 years. Sometimes they do it, and sometimes they don't, and when they don't, a gentle reminder is all that's needed. If you dig your heels in on this, and start a struggle about it, you may be asking for trouble-- most toddlers can out-stubborn their parents any day, and the end result of course is a kid who didn't nap, didn't nurse, and didn't give in, either.

My kids are 5, 3, and 3 now, and I do insist that they phrase their requests politely, when they can. Sometimes they are clearly so frazzled or upset that they need me to just intervene, but most of the time they are able to calm themselves and ask nicely. But there's a big difference between a three year old and a baby still only 17 months old.

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#12 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 11:11 AM
 
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i HATE the words "i want" so for my boys whenever they say "i want" we gently remind them, "how do we ask for what we want?" and they say, "can i please" or in my toddler's case, "please have"... but modeling is SO important. because they only know what the answer to "how do we do that?" by seeing how WE do that... "insisting", imho, is silly because they're whole people, learning their way, and TELLING them to say or do anything is kind of intrusive and oppressive. THAT'S MY PERSONAL PARENTING PHILOSOPHY, THO, and i don't want to make it sound like i think that's how everyone should think...

i DO think its reasonable to remind them that that's how YOU do things... and when my kids ask for something they ALWAYS say "can i please" (whether they say it first or with a reminder) and then i fuss over them, "OH MY GOODNESSS, HOW POLITE! OF COURSE YOU CAN HAVE..... SINCE YOU ASKED SOOOOO NICELY!" and they REALLY like when i talk like that. if they say "i want" "give me" etc with my oldest, i put it into a conversation... "oh really? i want some too..." but don't move to get it or anything... eventually he catches on... but he's 4.5.

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#13 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 11:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
I think if you "insist" on it, you're setting yourself up for a big power struggle. Kids learn courtesy and manners by your good example and gentle repetition, without you having to make a big issue out of it.

But in any case, 17 months is way too young for this kind of expectation. He's still just a baby, and fussing when he wants something is still a very developmentally appropriate way of communicating. A lot of kids this age don't even talk at all. If it were me, I would be very thankful that my child was able to communicate his wants and needs in an understandable way at all, and give the pleases and thank yous some time. If you feel strongly about please, say it for him-- "oh, you want to nurse? We say 'please nurse.' Okay, baby, come here and let's nurse." Over time, and with your gentle repetition of this sort of thing, he'll get the idea. And when he does say please, say something like, "I like when you say please to me."
Very well said.

I agree with pp - not developmentally appropriate to expect pleases at this point in the game.

I also agree with the pp who said it's great he can communicate his needs so early verbally. Ds has no useful words (at 19 months) & I'm excited for when he can tell me his wants more accurately.

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#14 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 11:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
I never even thought to have mine say please
Me neither. My 18 mo has some words but is just starting with simple phrases. We model polite speech but I don't have any sense that he would understand if I asked him specifically to say please as a condition for getting what he wants. Though manners and kindness are very important to me in the grand scheme of things, I don't feel that this is an age-appropriate expectation, at least not in our house at our stage.

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#15 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 12:18 PM
 
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My 19 month old has been saying please for a few months now. I never insisted she say it, I just made a habit of everytime I asked her to do something or for something, I said please to her. Eventually, when she wanted something she started saying please. Now EVERYTIME she asks for something there is always a please in there. About a month ago she also started saying 'thank you' when you did something for her or gave her something. Same thing with that. When she handed me something or did something I asked of her, I said thank you to her. Now she says thank you everytime she gets something she has asked for, or if you take something she doesn't want anymore etc. She even says thank you after DH buckles her in her car seat LOL.

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#16 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well it seems like you all agree. I just figured since he can now say many words when I ask him to..like learning new word, I'll tell him to say "example" and he'll say it, so I figured asking him to say please wasn't a huge stretch. I just don't want it to get to the point where he doesn't ever say please as he gets older and feels like he can just whine to get what he wants. You don't think it will be too late to teach him that as he gets older? I'm all about gentle discipline and I don't want to be a tyrant, but I want to do the right thing. He's my first, so I'm not sure where to be a stickler and where to let things go. Ya know?

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#17 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 12:27 PM
 
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I try not to ever force please or sorry. I think those words end up meaning nothing and become just habit...I dont want that.

Once they are older I do require them to ask nicely (as long as they can handle it...not in the middle of a meltdown)...i will prompt for p;ease sometimes but they dont have to say it to have their request filled. I guess I just hate the whole idea of "magic word"...say please and get what you want. So often then please is still said in a demanding or whining tone...

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#18 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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I agree that the best way to get kids to use please and thank you are to use please and thank you with them, and in front of them (to friends, other family members, cashiers, teachers, etc.) To model it.

Please come here so I can change your diaper. Please give me that (insert nasty/germy/sharp) thing you found on the ground, it's not safe for you to touch that. Please come put your coat on.

It can take a long time before patterns like this are laid down in the long term memory.

In my experience the more you say it, the more they will, but it takes years. Repetition, repetition, repetition, like so many other things in parenting. (And yes, it can be maddening in the meantime, can't it.!)

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#19 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 12:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post
Well it seems like you all agree. I just figured since he can now say many words when I ask him to..like learning new word, I'll tell him to say "example" and he'll say it, so I figured asking him to say please wasn't a huge stretch. I just don't want it to get to the point where he doesn't ever say please as he gets older and feels like he can just whine to get what he wants. You don't think it will be too late to teach him that as he gets older? I'm all about gentle discipline and I don't want to be a tyrant, but I want to do the right thing. He's my first, so I'm not sure where to be a stickler and where to let things go. Ya know?
At nineteen months old, my kid would say "bourgeoisie" when prompted. The fact that he could make the sounds didn't mean he could understand the concept.

We started gently insisting on please and thank you at around two and a half. Before that, we modeled them in use and we praised him when he used them. We still do not require him to say please when he's tired or stressed or frazzled. If the need is basic enough or if he's asking for something we've been trying to teach him (like asking to use the potty, for example) we don't require it.
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#20 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 02:27 PM
 
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I don't think it's unreasonable to work on teaching your little ones to say please and thank you, even if it will be quite a while before they will actually start doing it. Heck, most 3 and 4 year olds I know still need reminding at least some of the time.

My son is almost 17 months and he will sometimes say please when he asks for more, but I always have to prompt him, "can you say, "more, please"? sometimes he will, and sometimes he'll just nod his head yes like, well, i can say it but i'm not going to. same with nursing, if he starts poking me and yelling "milk! milk" i just said, "milk, please" and then let him nurse. i think he'll eventually figure it out. i don't withhold something from him if he doesn't say it.

and when he does say please, i give him a huge smile and tel him how nice and polite he's being.

patience and consistently modeling and reminding them are key...i think it'll take a while for them to internalize it. it can be frustrating though when it seems like they repeat everything else you ask them to say, except for please and thank you.

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#21 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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Well it seems like you all agree. I just figured since he can now say many words when I ask him to..like learning new word, I'll tell him to say "example" and he'll say it, so I figured asking him to say please wasn't a huge stretch. I just don't want it to get to the point where he doesn't ever say please as he gets older and feels like he can just whine to get what he wants. You don't think it will be too late to teach him that as he gets older? I'm all about gentle discipline and I don't want to be a tyrant, but I want to do the right thing. He's my first, so I'm not sure where to be a stickler and where to let things go. Ya know?
My DD is 18 months old and I've tried to introduce "please" (both word and concept) for about 2 months now (she's had a lot of words since she was about 15 months old) and it has just not caught on yet.

But what I've heard/read/been told is that this is the age (or beginning of the age) of testing boundaries, and that at this age they're still too young for it to be worth a power struggle over anything but the most important things. I've noticed that when I specifically tell her to do something or not do it, she looks at me and continues to do what I don't want her to do, but I've learned that instead of pushing and pushing and pushing I just take something away from her, explain that it's because she didn't do what she was supposed to, and she seems very content usually (and throws fits other times) to just go on about her business. It's like she's saying to herself "Hmmm, let's see if the world still works this way... yup, still works that way. Ok, onto the next thing!"

I just think this age is still young enough that they're still learning the basics of how to ask for what they want/need. I have no worry at all that even if she doesn't say please for a few more months, that she won't be able to learn it.

I don't think there's a "Please window" where, if your child doesn't learn it/do it in that window, all hope is lost. YOu've got more time mama!
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#22 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 06:27 PM
 
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The only time my 24 month old says please is when he's telling ME to say please when I ask for a kiss. (It's a silly game we play.)

He can say it but he doesn't. We remind him daily when he asks for things. "You can say, 'milk please'" etc. and we make sure that we use it a LOT.

At this point it's just going to be a pointless power struggle to try to force him to say please or thank you or sorry. He'd rather plant his bottom on the floor and wail for half an hour than say 'please' when he doesn't want to.

I think the best way to foster manners and kindness is by example and gentle reminders. So we use please, thank you and you're welcome constantly when interacting with DS and with one another. We remind him but if he doesn't want to say it, he doesn't say it. If we made a big deal about it and tried to force it, it would only make him more determined to NOT say it.

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#23 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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Going to chime in with more agreement, and hopefully some reassurance.

1) Too young to REQUIRE it.
2) Model, model, model.

If he really seems to understand the concept, then I think it's okay to ask him to say (or sign -- signing is great!) please when he's fussing. Like a pp said, if he whines for something you can just say something like "I hear that you want to nurse, but you're very whiny... can you ask nicely and say please?"

BUT if he's too upset to do so, I would absolutely not require it, not at that age. If they're whining, it's not because they're being manipulative or trying to weasel their way out of social politeness!! It's because they're emotionally immature, and unable to control themselves. If they're already whining, then they're probably already "too far gone" to be able to regain their self-control and calm down enough to ask politely, even if they would be able to ask politely when they're in a GOOD mood.

From their perspective, they're just being denied the things they NEED, and that's just too upsetting to handle... they might not even be truly hearing the request for a rewording, all they "hear" is their own internal anguish.

The great thing though, is that kids are MIMICS. That's how they learn EVERYTHING. They WANT to imitate the grown-ups. So like it's been said, there's no "please window" where if you miss it he'll be a rude brat for the rest of his life. If you don't FORCE the issue, he will just start using polite language because that's what everyone around him does, and he wants to be like the 'big people'!

Of course, if the rest of the family does NOT use please and thank you on a regular basis, then he won't pick it up, and he will resist attempts to teach him to do so... how artificial that would seem to him! And you'd also have to ask yourselves why you place so much importance on HIM using polite language if you don't use it yourselves. Either you truly believe that everybody should use it, and therefore you're being a little hypocritical and should strive to do better, or else you truly believe that it actually isn't all that important in the grand scheme of things, so why make it such a big deal for your son?

But if you do find it's important, and you model it consistently (either because you already were, or because you've decided to change habits and do it more), then he WILL pick it up.

I feel much the same way about "sorry"... MAKING a child say 'sorry' is meaningless. They're probably NOT sorry! What they need is help with empathy, learning to see how their actions have hurt someone, and modelling that saying 'sorry' is the correct way to begin to make amends.

Now for the reassurance... my daughter is now 3.5 yo and probably the politest kid I know. I *never* forced any of those words from her. She started saying thank you completely spontaneously sometime before age 2 (I can't recall exactly when). It was so adorable!!! Often accompanied with big hugs. It was really special and meaningful because we really knew it was heartfelt, self-prompted and real, not just because it was "expected".

'Please' was probably a little later, and I think we did a fair amount of prompting to remind her, or to suggest to her appropriate times to say it, but never REQUIRING it... I think we started insisting on 'please' more often around 2.5 or so, which matches what another pp said. By this age, she had enough self-control when she was a little upset (not full-blown tantrum of course) to be able to 'co-operate' with our guidance. We still wouldn't be absolutely authoritarian with requiring it, if she was too upset.

These days, if she's whining, we'll usually just say "how do you ask nicely?" Notice that we're not demanding that she say a particular word, it's more open. Of course we ARE expecting a certain word, but asking that way, I think, is much gentler, and makes it about them remembering to be nice to other people, rather than about following arbitrary rules imposed by authority figures. She'll often pout and say "please". "Please what?" "Please can I have such-and-such." "Okay then, yes you can, thank you for asking nicely!"

But she is 3.5yo, like 42 months old, more than TWICE as old as your son. And there are still times when she's too upset to do this! As she gets older, they're just less and less often. As she matures in her ability to self-control, we're just gradually increasing our insistence on politeness. But this is important- we are following HER abilities, rather than insisting that she follows OUR desired schedule. At 3.5yo, I'd say that it's ALMOST every time now.

"Sorry" has also developed quite naturally. We have NEVER required 'sorry'. Only modelled and suggested. And now she says it all the time lol... Today she asked for a straw in her cup, and we reminded her not to blow bubbles, and she said she wouldn't. A few minutes later, she blew a tiny bit of bubbles. She giggled and said "uh-oh, sorry!!" So cute!! And completely sincere. As 'sorry' should be.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#24 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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I still have to remind my 5yo to say please sometimes. Remembering how and when to say the right word is an unrealistic expectation of a 17mo.

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#25 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 10:02 PM
 
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Another one who considers 17 months too young to expect a please or thank you every single time, if at all. Even at an older age, I wouldn't with hold nursing or snuggle/bonding time to try and drag it out of my child. It puts way to much emphasis and energy it words IMO.

I didn't regularly start saying please until I was a teenager, I can tell you it was something both my parents actually tried to make me do when I was younger. It never stuck simply because it became all about "I can make you" and "no you can't" sort of argument.

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#26 of 30 Old 06-10-2010, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much everyone! I feel alot better about this now. My hubby was on the money. He thought I was being to hard on Ethan, and said that it will take time, we just have to practice with him. I thought he was being a softy. Thanks for all the advice. I won't stress about it for now!

DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)

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#27 of 30 Old 06-11-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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LOL... I'm another one with a hubby who's more the 'softy' while I'm more of the 'hard-nose'. I think we're luckier than the ladies with the opposite situation.

Heather, mom to Caileigh 12/06 and aspie ADHD prodigy David 05/98 :intact lact
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#28 of 30 Old 06-11-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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Funny coincidence, with us my DH thinks I'm more the softy and he's kinda harder on DD, but yesterday after posting on this thread when I got home from work she was asking for something by saying the word and pointing and DH handed it to her and she said "Thank you"! I was like "Did she just say "thank you"???" and he said "Yes, actually that's the 2nd time she's said it."

And that was definitely from modeling and telling her "Say thank you" and saying thank you to her when she does something. But it was NOT by forcing her or really pressing it.

OP sounds like you feel better, that's great cuz it sounds like you have nothing to worry about!
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#29 of 30 Old 06-12-2010, 01:26 PM
 
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My son is starting to say "thank you" - and he just turned 17mo. But I think it has much more to do with ME saying "THANK YOU!" every time he does something nice (hands me a toy, puts something in the garbage, gives me a kiss, etc).

I say the word "Please" to him a lot - and by watching me model it he's learning very fast!
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#30 of 30 Old 06-13-2010, 03:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenmagick View Post
I try not to ever force please or sorry. I think those words end up meaning nothing and become just habit...I dont want that.

Once they are older I do require them to ask nicely (as long as they can handle it...not in the middle of a meltdown)...i will prompt for please sometimes but they dont have to say it to have their request filled. I guess I just hate the whole idea of "magic word"...say please and get what you want. So often then please is still said in a demanding or whining tone...
I thought I would be the only oddball here so I was glad to see this comment and I agree 100%

I absolutely hate please, most of the time.. At one point a year or so ago, I couldn't figure out why in the world my husband was trying to teach our toddler still learning how to talk to say "please" - except he likely grew up in a household where this was important. I did not (thank goodness). We didn't use "please" that I can recall and it was never an issue in my life.

Did you ever hear the phrase "Actions speak louder than words?" I believe it and think a persons actions are far more important than the words that come out of their mouths. (I'm referencing real life face to face encounters here, because online a persons words are more important because its the ONLY thing there is!)

Now if a child is asking for milk by throwing things at you, then that's a different story and I can understand wanting to try and teach him a better way to ask for something.... but to withhold milk and turn it into a power struggle because he hasn't said the magical word is just MEAN in my opinion. In this instance, I feel you were far ruder than he, and it was you who lacked the manners in this circumstance. You had placed such a great emphasis on words that they were above actions. His actions were telling you he was hungry- this was better than words in my opinion, he communicated his needs very well... did you listen? Instead you tried to get him to meet YOUR need to hear "please" while at the same time he fussed and tried to get you to meet HIS need for "milk." So you both tried at the same time to get your needs met, and in the end, nobody got theirs met (he never said please and you never gave him milk) - Actually this is incorrect, only one was a true NEED, and one was merely a WANT. The need should always trump the want. Since food is a human requirement for life, his request was the real NEED while your request was just a want.

Both words and actions can affect how someone feels, and ultimately, that is what is important. So if you are making someone feel bad (whether by words or actions) then something needs to change.

Some people can lack manners while using please and thank you at all the appropriate times and others can have manners without ever using these words. I've known both kinds of people in my life, and I far prefer the one who NEVER uses so called good mannered "words" but would give you the shirt off his back in a heartbeat, to the one who uses please and thank you one minute and belittles you the next (or even in the same sentence!)


With some people, please and thank you are overrated and overused. The more they are used, the less meaningful they become. Its nice to hear them once in a while, but I don't want to hear them 10 times a day.


Back to the episode where my husband began to teach our son "please" (he was probably same age as yours Im guessing) - he had apparently done this in the few hours he watched him while I was busy elsewhere. Later my husband wasnt even in the room, and my baby was asking for mama's milk "pleeeee" - I felt like my heart was ripped out. I quickly told him he did NOT have to say please for mama's milk. TO me, it sounds like begging. I was insulted! I am going to meet my sons need for nursing WITHOUT having to hear "magical" words! It bothered me terribly but I never made it into a big issue, just told him a few times over the next few days he didn't need to say please to ask for mama's milk, and during the times he was showing me his new signs and words (it didnt bother me nearly as much with other foods or things as it did for nursing) I smiled big and gave him what he wanted (just as I would have done otherwise) and after using it a zillion times for a few weeks, the novelty wore off and he stopped using it at every opportunity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post
So, I guess I let it go too long and now, he knows what it means, and knows how to sign it and say it but refuses. I don't think I've ever heard him say it when I ask. How do I deal with this? he says lots of other words, but throws a hissy fit when I tell him to say please for something. Today, he wanted to nurse, but would just fuss, so I wouldn't nurse him until he said please, or signed it. I finally just said to him if he would sign "milk" please then he could nurse. He went all day just distracting himself and didn't get to nurse and then at bed time, I just didn't give him the opportunity to fuss about it and took him in his room and nursed him to sleep. He passed out because he missed his nap earlier. Am I going about this wrong? Should I keep on him about saying please? I don't want him to think that if he fusses he'll get his way. I always thought he was too young to understand, but then realized that he did understand, and just didn't want to say it. Thanks in advance!

No. Its not like this at all. What you want him to think, is that YOU will always be there for him, fussy or not. We're human. We get fussy sometimes. Its ok to be sad, hungry, angry, scared, etc. We still deserve to have our needs met. You don't want him to feel that you are only going to be there for him and meet his needs if he is only acting "happy" (or using manners or certain words) do you? Is this what real love is?

What you want to do is to love him (and meet his needs, because loving someone also entails meeting their needs) unconditionally.


On a positive note, I'm so glad to hear that at the end of the day, good sense returned and you allowed him to nurse before he even had a chance to fuss. Thank goodness your mother instinct took over and prevented your brain from overanalyzing the use of words too much He was hungry and he needed to eat. Let him be a baby. Someday when he grows older and he learns how much using "please" means to you, then he will want to use it often on his own just to make you happy, because he loves you, and you will not need to actually "teach" it or force it out of him.


I would also suggest that a good time for learning new things is not when a child is hungry but after a full belly (or while eating). This seemed to be a good time to teach ours new things and I would imagine one would be much more receptive at that time. (I sure would anyway)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsBone View Post
Well it seems like you all agree. I just figured since he can now say many words when I ask him to..like learning new word, I'll tell him to say "example" and he'll say it, so I figured asking him to say please wasn't a huge stretch. I just don't want it to get to the point where he doesn't ever say please as he gets older and feels like he can just whine to get what he wants. You don't think it will be too late to teach him that as he gets older? I'm all about gentle discipline and I don't want to be a tyrant, but I want to do the right thing. He's my first, so I'm not sure where to be a stickler and where to let things go. Ya know?
I'm not sure why he has learned that he has to whine to get what he wants. You might want to address this issue first. If this has become a habit for whatever reason, I think its ok to help teach a constant whiner how to ask for the same thing a better way.... but you can do so entirely without ever using "please" - just by changing the tone of your voice, even with using the very same words.

"I want milk" can be said many different ways for example. Emulate the way you'd like it said after he says it, but I'd stop there with the teaching and fulfill the request (don't turn it into a power struggle and make him repeat after you for example) .. he'll probably get the hang of it after hearing it said correctly a few times.

And a child can still be a whiner, even while using "please!" All they have to do is add please to the sentence and say it the very same way. So clearly, what you are wanting has nothing to do with using "please" but you have a whiner on your hands and you want them to stop whining and start asking differently. Is this right?

If so, I'd leave "please" out of the equation and concentrate on letting him hear the way you'd like it said, just by changing the manner of the voice.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." -Edmund Burke (1729-1797)
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