when to start with manners? - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-13-2005, 04:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I don't really care for the term correction. After all, aren't jails called "correctional" facilities? They obviously don't do much to correct any kind of behavior, so on a much, much smaller scale, I agree with this philosophy regarding children (in that it doesn't work too well most of the time). Correcting, punishing, shaming, yelling, time-outs, taking away items of enjoyment (or their "currency" blech) if they don't do something we want them to do...all that is not how I want the dynamic to be with my daughter. I don't want our dynamic to be one of control, namely, ME in control and her having only small amounts of choices that I dole out to her depending on how well she "behaves" for me.

That is just not us.
You know, I really don't appreciate being grouped with Dr. Phil, yellers, spankers, and punishers. I don't think it's fair to anyone on this board, and I think your blanket dismissal of anyone who chooses to coach their children more than you do as selfish control freaks who only care about how they "behave" for them doesn't contribute to a respectful debate.

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Old 12-13-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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You know...it's a little funny, really. I would say I am an extremely "low-coercion" parent. I am also basically in the no-reward no-punishment school of discipline (I may reevaluate as DD gets older, but it'c certainly where we are now, at two). In other words, I am totally outside the disciplinary mainstream. This issue (politeness and consideration) happens to be a biggie for me, however. It is a place where I am going to take a more active role. Rather than placing me and others in the category of "I can't even talk to you about this because you are so completely opposite me, and you remind me of Dr. Phil," I would appreciate a slightly more open mind. I have certainly paid attention here, and I will probably give the embarrassment issue more thought than I might have before this thread.

One thing I find confusing about the model some of you seem be espousing--I feel like you in fact give the child much more freedom and right to expression than the parent. You say you believe in everyone being genuine--thus, your child can say whatever she wants in response to someone's kind gesture, right? But am I really supposed to behave the same way? I don't think so--I get the idea I am maybe allowed to carefully formulate a polite, noncoercive, emotionally neutral comment about how I may be affected by their behavior. Well, but that's not how I genuinely feel! How is that egalitarian, then?

Quote:
BINGO! Kids get to be genuine, and so do parents. In my family, I get to genuinely express my feeling to (part of modelling).
Okay, so let's say my child drops Grandma's sweater on the floor in disdain and spits out her casserole. My "genuine feelings" in this scenario would be embarrassment and anger at her behavior. Am I allowed to tell her that? ("DD, you just really embarrassed me and made me mad! I feel terrible that you hurt Grandma's feelings!") How is that possibly less shaming and hurtful than quietly taking her aside and explaning to her that Grandma worked hard on that, people enjoy being thanked, etc?

Or am I meant to be so highly evolved that I do not experience these feelings, and just think "Wow, DD is so authentic--what a pure expression of her feelings"? I mean, nonsnarkily--kudos to you if you are in this place. I am not, and I would venture to say that the vast majority of parents are nowhere near it, either.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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Old 12-13-2005, 05:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Judgement doesn't help. Help doesn't judge. And I believe judgement damages the Trust of oneself; and damages the Trust that others are an advocate for us.
But people judge other people all the time. Whether judgement is good or bad seems irrelevant to certain extent because it happens and nothing we do is going to change that.

Adults and other children judge my kids all the time. On a play date, in the classroom, wherever they are, others judge them. Some people even have a "right" to judge them. Heck, in a way, I even PAY the teachers to judge them. That's part of their job -- to evaluate both academic and social behavior and help the child improve/learn. How do you do that without first forming a judgement of said behaviour?

Note that I chose times when I wasn't present. I'm not talking about how I judge their behavior (though I do and I'm not about to say that I shouldn't -- I think that's my job too). But to keep this out of personal parenting philosophy, lets confine the idea to times when I'm not there and not invested in the situation. My child is still judged and others react to him or her according to the judgement they form. It is a fact of being part of a human social structure. So how does your "no judgement" approach work within the reality of the world? Again, I don't get it and I'm starting to think that just never will.
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Old 12-13-2005, 06:38 PM
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i don't think people who coach their children more than me are selfish control freaks...I was speaking in terms of "correcting" and even then I don't think I said that people who do that are selfish control freaks.

...but no matter how *gently* someone puts it, I believe that when one is correcting their child's behavior, especially in social situations for others to witness, or even taking them aside -- where everyone in said social situation knows what is going on... or even in private later where the child is basically being told that how they acted was wrong, and by extension, an embarrassment for the parent ...it seems to me that isn't my personal definition of modeling respect.

I think many parents on here, just generally speaking, DO seek a control dynamic with their children....that doesn't mean they are bad parents....in fact I believe many parents on here are quite loving, and gentle, and try very hard to be respectful of their children etc... however, in my humble opinion, I don't care for a dynamic of control. I don't subscribe to the philosophy that my child is going to turn out to be a denture wearing, rude, filth living, jobless weirdo with no social skills just because I don't make her brush her teeth, or say thank you on cue, or force her to clean her room or whatever.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I don't subscribe to the philosophy that my child is going to turn out to be a denture wearing, rude, filth living, jobless weirdo with no social skills just because I don't make her brush her teeth, or say thank you on cue, or force her to clean her room or whatever.
Well, I don't subscribe to the philosophy that my children are going to turn out to be repressed, inauthentic, out of touch, miserable people pleaser because my dh and I have chosen a "control dynamic". Still, I would prefer not to be lumped in with authoritarian spankers, I don't appreciate the insinuation.

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Old 12-13-2005, 07:27 PM
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I didn't mention spanking in my post actually. I know most people here don't spank, but I do strongly believe that "not spanking" doesn't automatically mean someone is practicing gentle discipline. I am not saying you don't practice gentle discipline, I am not in your home, I would say from most of your posts you seem to be a very loving, caring mama who wants to do the best by and for your kids as we most do...

I was just speaking generally, and I am sorry if you felt like I was specifically *targeting* you or speaking specifically of you. I was speaking more in general terms, about the dynamic of forcing children to be polite in situations where they obviously are not feeling very polite or gracious at the moment.
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Old 12-13-2005, 07:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I didn't mention spanking in my post actually. I know most people here don't spank, but I do strongly believe that "not spanking" doesn't automatically mean someone is practicing gentle discipline. I am not saying you don't practice gentle discipline, I am not in your home, I would say from most of your posts you seem to be a very loving, caring mama who wants to do the best by and for your kids as we most do...

I was just speaking generally, and I am sorry if you felt like I was specifically *targeting* you or speaking specifically of you. I was speaking more in general terms, about the dynamic of forcing children to be polite in situations where they obviously are not feeling very polite or gracious at the moment.
I didn't feel like you were specifically *targeting* me. I also strongly believe that "not spanking" doesn't automatically mean someone is practicing gentle discipline. But I also believe that there's a whole lot of "gentle discipline" other than non-coercive parenting, or whatever you practice. And you have made repeated references in this discussion to shaming, scolding, yelling and punishing as being the only alternative to what you are espousing. This is in spite of the fact that all of us who have been advocating for "the dynamic of forcing children to be polite in situations where they are obviously not feeling very polite" have stated that we would never do this. That's what I have found offensive in your posts.

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Old 12-13-2005, 07:54 PM
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Well 10 pages later, I still don't know what most people would do in those situations *sigh*

On one hand I see people saying they would never embarrass or shame or punish their child for not saying thank you or whatever, but then in the next sentence or another post they say things like they would "give the look" or "nudge" or "correct" or "remind" them...or better yet, take them in private and have a "talk" .... all in front of Aunt Sally (or whoever)... and to me that is shaming....I guess that is just my take on it because I would never want someone to do that to me, as a child or now as an adult...
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Old 12-13-2005, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Well 10 pages later, I still don't know what most people would do in those situations *sigh*

On one hand I see people saying they would never embarrass or shame or punish their child for not saying thank you or whatever, but then in the next sentence or another post they say things like they would "give the look" or "nudge" or "correct" or "remind" them...or better yet, take them in private and have a "talk" .... all in front of Aunt Sally (or whoever)... and to me that is shaming....I guess that is just my take on it because I would never want someone to do that to me, as a child or now as an adult...
Yes, which brings us again to the question of whether or not we can tell if our children are embarrassed. I feel no need to convince anyone of my expertise on my children's emotions, so I guess I'm done.

In parting, let me say that I still believe some children need more than modeling. My brother and SIL have excellent manners, they are two of the politest, most charming people I know -- my brother used to be a diplomat, in fact. But my nephew isn't getting it, for whatever reason. Since I don't believe he's just naturally rude, I think he needs more coaching.

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Old 12-13-2005, 08:38 PM
 
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I say model model model.. And if there is a time they dont say it the parent can always say it.. if someone gives a gift parent can say "thank you" leave it at that.. I always hate when i hear parents making a big issue out of it especially 2 and younger..... Not giving them something if they dont say it.. then you get kids that use the words however no sincerity behind it......

we have a 2yr old that since 18 months when ever he walks close by he says excuse me , and using thanks and please consistantly : O ) though if he doesnt i dont say anything... ESPECIALLY hes only 2.. I know some adults that have less manners

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Old 12-13-2005, 09:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by scubamama
Instead, if we are focused on the child's underlying need and faciliating them to meet their need in a mutually agreeable way (with information about impact), judgement of their behavior can be non-present and even counter-productive. Furthermore, focusing on the underlying need SOLVES THE PROBLEM, if we facilitate a mutually agreeable alternative. It is difficult to feel that someone is advocating and partnered with you to meet your needs when they are judging you, your actions, your impact, or your intent.

Judgement doesn't help. Help doesn't judge. And I believe judgement damages the Trust of oneself; and damages the Trust that others are an advocate for us.


I learn much from you, Mama!
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Old 12-13-2005, 11:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
See, I can't have discussions with people who's parenting philosophies are SO vastly different than mine. I don't believe this statement is true at all.
We do it all the time!!
And I do think the disupted statement is very true.

eta. oops my router was down all day and i came in so late I didnt finish reading where you mentioned that you DO have discussions here all the time with people of different parenting philosophies!

Great fun guys! Sooner or later we will have this same debate over almost every discipline issue we can think of !
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:44 AM
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We do it all the time!!
lol yeah I know, that is why I recanted that statement -- it was a knee jerk response to a comment that just rubbed me the wrong way...


Just something about the words "allowing our children" to do or not do things we really don't have any control over...just control over how we react or whether or not we punish them (we won't be punishing), gets me cranked sometimes...
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:00 AM
 
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I constantly say please, thank-you and Bless you around my DC. A few days ago my DD came up to me and handed me her sippy cup and said pweeps (which is please btw). After I got her drink she said dant doo (which is thank-you). When DS sneezes she says bwetts doo (you guessed it Bless you). She is 18 mo. Last Sat when I was crying because DH worked a 15 hour shift and I missed him she came up to me and doo ugh (You Hug?). All you ever need to do is treat them kindly and with manners and they will mimic it. Monkey see Monkey do.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:24 AM
 
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Has anybody mentioned pulling the child aside a little later and reminding them when they are out of earshot so that they don't get embarrassed? I read a few of the posts (had NOT idea this thread was 10 pages long)

But, to answer the OP, I started when DD was born. She still signs please when she says it. DH and I model this behavior, and she is a really polite toddler (26 months old.) I think it's also important to explain to them WHY manners are important. For example, if you don't say thank you to people they won't think that you appreciate things and they won't want to do things for you. Being polite shows that you care.

Zombiewaif. My DD always says bless you when anyone sneezes. She also covers her mouth when she burps and says excuse me. My favorite is when she pulled my blanket up higher on me and said "That better?" LOL!

I do have to admit, that when her grandma gave DD a cookie today, and she didn't say thank you, I asked her "Did you remember to tell grammie thank you?" She turned around and said "Oh! Thank you grammie!"

I think I will continue to do that. "Did you remember?" I won't chastise her, but give her a gentle reminder.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:32 AM
 
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ONe of the difficult things with modeling is that the 2 and 3 year old who ALWAYS says please, thank you, bless you etc. . . from modeling, will likely be modeled different behavior when they get older and go to school etc. . .
My oldest dd never had to be taught to say these things when very young, but she started needing reminders when she was older which showed, that despite the fact that other she may spend time with might not do these things, I still expect them.
In fact, right now at 13 she is working on her manners again because i think it is pretty embarassing that her 2 and 3 year old siblings say "please" and "thank you" , "bless you " and even "May I please be excused" with much more reliability than she does. (and them without needing reminders, they started all on their own)
I think like the unschoolers/ homeschoolers, their models are often much more carefully chosen than those of us who send our children to public school or who participate a lot in activities outside a close knit group who shares the same values (like a lot of homeschooling groups are)
Add to that the influence of TV (in some homes) and soon the carefully modeled behavior of the parents becomes outnumbered by less than inspiring behavior models.
Perhaps if I were in a circumstance where I had full control over whom my children came into contact with, any possible "need" for anythign more than modeling would be a moot point.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:39 PM
 
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Joline, it's true that I will homeschool DS b/c I do not agree with the methods or philosophy of compulsory schooling. So it does follow that he won't be exposed to that. But I think there are complex issues with the "controlling the environment" idea. I've thought about this inside and out - and I see so many sides.

On one hand a parent has little to no control over a child's school exvironment. But it isn't an uncontrolled environment. It's kind of a helpless environment, where a child has no recourse for anything, really. That can be very hard on them.

Another angle is that homeschooling allows more "control" of sorts. But it's the control of being able not to control. I don't have any plans to engineer DS's social world or only allow him what I like. But he will get to see me discuss differences I have with people, leave a situation if it's dangerous (physically or emotionally), or handle things some other way. School would never provide him that. So I want him out in the world. But it's not to limit his exposure.

On that note... I have and do get overwhelmed with outside influences. But I'm overwhelmed by the influences - not so much DS. (I made a thread about this a little while ago...) I do get really sick and tired of my family (a close-knit group) imposing their value systems on DS and me. But I was not raised the way I'm raising DS.
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Old 12-14-2005, 02:25 PM
 
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I've been following this thread with interest. I appreciated the many viewpoints. Here is a great article that I read a few years ago that really opened my eyes to the idea of not imposing any kind of teaching on a child.

http://www.naturalchild.org/naomi_aldort/manners.html

I realize and respect that we are not all going to agree. But I think a concise and well written summation of the non-coercive view would be helpful in explaining things at least so those who practice others forms of parenting have a better idea where we're coming from.

Thanks for a stimulating and enjoyable read. You are all quite clearly dedicated and loving mamas.
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Old 12-14-2005, 06:15 PM
 
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So a bit earlier there was the comment, "Well 10 pages later, I still don't know what most people would do in those situations *sigh*" SOOO, here are a few examples ... But bear in mind I think the whole "please, thank you" issue is SO MINOR compared to a kid's overall respectfulness towards others.

I'm at a party (holiday, birthday, whatever) with my 3-year-old. She's given a gift. She tears it open with glee and then looks around for the next exciting thing (no "thank you" given). I'd take the gift, address the giver, and thank them. Probably, if she heard me, DD would chime in with "Tank you!" If not, no biggie. When we are preparing to leave, I might say privately to her "Did you have fun? Yeah? Auntie was so nice to us today. Let's remember to say thank you to her when we say goodbye."

I'm at a party with my 6-year-old. She's given a gift she's in ecstacy over - too in love with it to look up and say "thanks". I address the giver and I thank them, pointing out how pleased DD is. When her initial joy has subsided a bit and I catch her eye, I might mouth the words "Thank you" or say "Come here a sec, sweetie," and quietly ask "Did you remember to say thanks to Auntie? It'll make her happy, I think."

Or ... she doesn't really like the gift ... puts it aside, no comment. I thank the giver, then as soon as I had a private moment with DD, say something like "I guess you didn't like auntie's gift, right? Why not? Well ... I understand you don't like it. Maybe we can change it, I don't know. But you know, you still need to say something to Auntie. She was trying to do something nice, right? Yeah. What do you think you'll say? ... That's nice, I think she'll like that, let's go talk to her." And I'd go with her, and if Auntie made a big deal of "So you didn't like the gift I got you!" I'd intervene, because a 6 year-old is not a diplomat, and try to nicely explain so that NEITHER auntie or DD gets hurt.

I'm at a party with my 8-year-old. She's given a gift... She opens the paper, looks at it, and loudly says "YUCK. This is so STUPID." I would stand up and immediately say, "DD, come in the kitchen with me. I want to talk to you." And I'd take her out of the situation. Shaming? Yes, probably, depending on the kid. But shame is a valuable emotion like others. I have felt ashamed of being mean, and I WANT my child to feel ashamed when they deliberately hurt someone's feelings. And at age 8 my child, if reasonably empathetic, is going to KNOW she just hurt auntie's feelings. In the kitchen I'd say how that was hurtful and rude, and ask if DD could think of a way to make the situation better. I wouldn't demand it but would make it clear the best thing to do would be an apology AND a thank-you for the thoughtfulness of buying a gift at all. At age 8 I am almost certain DD will want to do that.

Just a few examples of where I would use language to go "above and beyond" pure modelling. I do not feel that these are shaming to my child, except as I said possibly the last; I do not think ANY of these are belittling or damaging. In the last case, I think if all I do is model a nice polite "thank you" of my own to Auntie, I am reinforcing DD to feel any and every thing she does is fine, regardless of the feelings of others.

I'm not saying "this is what you should do with YOUR child" but rather what I'd do with my own, who I know.
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Old 12-14-2005, 06:49 PM
 
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Cresentluna Well said. And I have to agree.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:15 PM
 
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Am still curious about the responses of the "modelling only" mamas. Do you still hold that my approach is belittling, coercive, brainwashing, whatever? How would 'modelling only' in the last example really work?

Just curious.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by crescantaluna
I have felt ashamed of being mean, and I WANT my child to feel ashamed when they deliberately hurt someone's feelings. And at age 8 my child, if reasonably empathetic, is going to KNOW she just hurt auntie's feelings.
Ahh... It's the deliberate thing I don't buy. I don't think there's anything deliberate about an 8 yo squealing "Yuck!" when they are disappointed. It's assaigning an awful lot of sophistication to the act of opening a package.

And if you've ever felt ashamed of hurting someone, did you realize it on your own? Has the "offended" told you how they felt hurt? Has a third person ever "outed" you for your actions and instructed you to apologize? How were your feelings about theses people after these exchanges?

Do you think it's impossible for someone to come to the conclusion that they have hurt someone after observing that person's subsequent behavior, or after mulling it over in a quieter moment?


ETA: To answer your question in the above post, yes.

I have no issue with the 3-year-old example. I'd do similar, though likely without pointing out to DC that we would be thanking Auntie...

However, I still think your methods in the next 2 examples are embarrassing, belittling, and counterproductive to helping DC becoming genuinely grateful. I won't be doing those things.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:47 PM
 
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Well, I hesitate to reply since I did say I was out of this discussion quite some time ago because some of the rsponses were getting painful for me to read....but I did read your post and had that what my responses would be.....and there does not seem to be any more "modellers" willing to particiapte at this point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna

I'm at a party (holiday, birthday, whatever) with my 3-year-old. She's given a gift. She tears it open with glee and then looks around for the next exciting thing (no "thank you" given). I'd take the gift, address the giver, and thank them. Probably, if she heard me, DD would chime in with "Tank you!" If not, no biggie. When we are preparing to leave, I might say privately to her "Did you have fun? Yeah? Auntie was so nice to us today. Let's remember to say thank you to her when we say goodbye."
I would do exactly the same even up to the last comment omitting the "let's remember to say thank you when we say goodbye". Rather than say that, I would thank auntie as we left and dd would be free to say it as well, or not.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna

I'm at a party with my 6-year-old. She's given a gift she's in ecstacy over - too in love with it to look up and say "thanks". I address the giver and I thank them, pointing out how pleased DD is. When her initial joy has subsided a bit and I catch her eye, I might mouth the words "Thank you" or say "Come here a sec, sweetie," and quietly ask "Did you remember to say thanks to Auntie? It'll make her happy, I think."
Again, I would do exactly as you would except i would not give dd a look or whisper anythign to her. At 6 years of age I have no doubt that if she was too excited to thank the giver, she would "get it" by hearing me thank the giver. She would either chime in then or not. Up to her. Just like at Christmas when dh gets a gift he is very excited about, I might point out "look how much he likes it!", but would not ask him to say anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna
Or ... she doesn't really like the gift ... puts it aside, no comment. I thank the giver, then as soon as I had a private moment with DD, say something like "I guess you didn't like auntie's gift, right? Why not? Well ... I understand you don't like it. Maybe we can change it, I don't know. But you know, you still need to say something to Auntie. She was trying to do something nice, right? Yeah. What do you think you'll say? ... That's nice, I think she'll like that, let's go talk to her." And I'd go with her, and if Auntie made a big deal of "So you didn't like the gift I got you!" I'd intervene, because a 6 year-old is not a diplomat, and try to nicely explain so that NEITHER auntie or DD gets hurt.
Same as situation number 2. Most 6 years olds would pick up on the cue if I say thanks. And if my dd didn't, well that is between auntie and dd (with me helping if I can). I really do not think auntie is going to feel any better getting a forced thanks from a child that was just made to say it. Yes auntie's feelings are still hurt (as I think they would be either way) but at least I do not double dd's issues after she got a gift she was unhappy with my embarrassing her and forcing her to say something she does not feel.


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Originally Posted by crescentaluna
I'm at a party with my 8-year-old. She's given a gift... She opens the paper, looks at it, and loudly says "YUCK. This is so STUPID." I would stand up and immediately say, "DD, come in the kitchen with me. I want to talk to you." And I'd take her out of the situation. Shaming? Yes, probably, depending on the kid. But shame is a valuable emotion like others. I have felt ashamed of being mean, and I WANT my child to feel ashamed when they deliberately hurt someone's feelings. And at age 8 my child, if reasonably empathetic, is going to KNOW she just hurt auntie's feelings. In the kitchen I'd say how that was hurtful and rude, and ask if DD could think of a way to make the situation better. I wouldn't demand it but would make it clear the best thing to do would be an apology AND a thank-you for the thoughtfulness of buying a gift at all. At age 8 I am almost certain DD will want to do that.
Well, first off, I find this situation nearly impossible. My child has been raised non-coersively since birth and already is remarkably respectful. An 8 year old that is that out of tune with empathy has either not been treated respectfully themselves or is so disappointed that they lose themselves for a moment. Shaming by me will not help in either situation. So, what would I do? I would simply apoplogize to the gift giver for dd's reaction, try and find some way to thank them...."that color yellow is just beautiful!"....and move on. I am sure if dd were upset enough to say that, she probably would need some private support from me. And again, I am quite sure that after the initial outburst and some time to think about it, any 8 year old that has been respectfully treated would want to remedy the situation either with help or not. Also, while i would not bring it up as a disucssion topic at a later time, I would guess that dd would at which time I would bring up how hurt auntie looked. dd would have to deicde for herself what she wanted to do about it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by crescentaluna
Just a few examples of where I would use language to go "above and beyond" pure modelling. I do not feel that these are shaming to my child, except as I said possibly the last; I do not think ANY of these are belittling or damaging. In the last case, I think if all I do is model a nice polite "thank you" of my own to Auntie, I am reinforcing DD to feel any and every thing she does is fine, regardless of the feelings of others.
I do think parts of your examples could be shaming for some kids, I think they would do little to "teach", but that is MY opinion. I am sure others here (most probably) would disagree. You think (as quoted in example #4) that shame is an important emotion for teaching children. I think it is harmful. So I think that is the key point where we disagree. Does that make either of us bad parents? No. Just different. Also, the non-modellers on here are more concerned about "outcomes" than i am. I do not worry about how my child will "turn out" as I see her as a complete person already. She is what she is at that time. I do not aim to "mold" her. She "molds" herself and I help when she asks. Maybe she wants to grow up to be a mean manner-less bully? I highly doubt it so I trust her to seek the info and help needed to become the person she wants to be.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:18 PM
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I completely agree yooper...completely.

One thing though, is that I have to just clarify that I don't worry about how my daughter is going to *turn out*. I have every faith that she will grow to be a beautiful human being (inside) as she is now and has been from the day I gave birth to her.

I do feel though, that the way my husband and I are choosing to relate to our daughter, specifically in this respect will greatly benefit her in the future, that's all. I feel that one of our roles as her parents is to be a soft place for her as she discovers who she is, who she wants to be, how she feels, what she likes, what makes her content, what upsets her ... and all that entails. In my opinion, teaching her from a very young age to say one thing when she is feeling the exact opposite, isn't contributing to that.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
Also, the non-modellers on here are more concerned about "outcomes" than i am. I do not worry about how my child will "turn out" as I see her as a complete person already. She is what she is at that time. I do not aim to "mold" her. She "molds" herself and I help when she asks. Maybe she wants to grow up to be a mean manner-less bully? I highly doubt it so I trust her to seek the info and help needed to become the person she wants to be.
Well, I said I wouldn't get back in this too, but...

I definitely worry about how my dd will "turn out". Sure, she's a complete person already, but she's going to change a whole, whole lot between now and the time she leaves my household. And I don't think anyone wants to be a manner-less bully, but there are certainly a lot of them out there. And those people don't seem very happy, and I think a lot of it is due to frustration from being unable to develop strong relationships because they don't have good social skills. I don't want my children to have to worry about that, and I think a lot of socializing and manners is just habit, a habit that might need reinforcement.

Also, let me add that I think it's presuming a lot to say that someone will only act disrespectfully if they have not been treated with respect. Especially an eight year old. I also think it's presuming a WHOLE lot to assume that all eight year olds have enough empathy to automatically detect the appropriate behavior in all social situations. That doesn't come naturally to a lot of people.

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Old 12-15-2005, 07:57 PM
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I don't worry about how my daughter will turn out because truthfully, I have no control over it. There will come a time where she will be able to make 100% of her decisions 100% of the time, which is why we are beginning very early with non-coercion parenting. I have observed many children who are otherwise *good* people, who go nuts practically when they leave their parents house because there is suddenly a world of things they are *allowed* to do and boy if they don't do them all...and then some. I am not saying all kids, but it is something I have observed way more often than not, even with some aspects of myself coming from a very *controlled* childhood.

Of course I hope my daughter is a caring, trustworthy, happy, contented adult... I don't think anyone sits around hoping their adult children are rude A-holes....but seriously, I don't think the difference between a child growing up to be a rude, mannerless heathen with no social skills hinges on whether you force them to thank Aunt Sally.

...and on the same token, I don't think a child is going to grow up to be a robot who doesn't know how they feel about anything if they are forced to say thank you...

...but given the choice between forcing my children to do something and gracefully doing it on their behalf (like thanking or whatever) I will always choose the latter.
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Old 12-15-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by natensarah

I definitely worry about how my dd will "turn out". Sure, she's a complete person already, but she's going to change a whole, whole lot between now and the time she leaves my household. And I don't think anyone wants to be a manner-less bully, but there are certainly a lot of them out there. And those people don't seem very happy, and I think a lot of it is due to frustration from being unable to develop strong relationships because they don't have good social skills. I don't want my children to have to worry about that, and I think a lot of socializing and manners is just habit, a habit that might need reinforcement.

Also, let me add that I think it's presuming a lot to say that someone will only act disrespectfully if they have not been treated with respect. Especially an eight year old. I also think it's presuming a WHOLE lot to assume that all eight year olds have enough empathy to automatically detect the appropriate behavior in all social situations. That doesn't come naturally to a lot of people.
Somewhere in the last 11 pages I am sure it was said that yes, there are manner-less people that are unhappy with thier lack of social skills. Seeing as it is the norm for parents to shame, bully, make parrot, "discuss", and remind children to have manners, I would have to guess that many if not most of these "manner-less" people were either completely neglected by their parents or were coerced into false manners as children.

And secondly, I know or have known a great deal of 8 year olds. I do think they are quite capable of empathy....in many cases way more so than adults. What they lack sometimes is impulse control and perfect memories. People expect that. Poeple forgive children that lose themselves as it is part od growing up. How is shaming and embarrassing a teaching point? I just do not get it. How is heaping some parental disapproval on top of aunties fallen face or diapproving look going to do anything except make a kid not want to ask or rely on help from adults. Maybe many kids would not pick up on the parents apology and gratitude AT THAT MOMENT due to being in the thick of some strong emotions. But after they calm down, most will see both sides of the situation. Am I giving 8 year olds too much credit? I do not think so. Maybe the 8 year olds everyone else are thinking of are so used to being told what to do that they do not even think about it any more?
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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I knew that by posting anything definite the firing squad would come out! So be it.

yooper said about the rude 8-y-o ... "Well, first off, I find this situation nearly impossible. My child has been raised non-coersively since birth and already is remarkably respectful. An 8 year old that is that out of tune with empathy has either not been treated respectfully themselves or is so disappointed that they lose themselves for a moment."

OR ...

She heard a kid say it at a birthday party, and it got big laughs.
Or she heard it on a tv show or movie.
Or a classmate said something like that to her when she traded lunch.
Or a girl at school said it to someone else, hurting the other girl's feelings, and DD is thinking about flexing her own power.
Or she heard auntie's teenaged sons being rude to her and wanted to also try being rude to auntie.
Or ... on and on.

All of which, sad to say, are experiences that happen to 8 year olds who are not sequestered away. My dd will not be sheltered to the point she's never seen bad behavior, and she's a human being: she WILL experiment with being rude, and mean, and deliberately naughty. It's part of being human. I will continue to love her through that. (Unless of course she *is* an entirely enlightened being, which I don't yet rule out!)

If you expect your child to never explore that part of their humanity, I think you are setting unfairly demanding standards.

8-year-olds are far more sophisticated than you give credit for, is what I'm saying. Being raised for 8 years in a respectful environment, an outburst like the one I described would NOT be the result of simple disappointment - maybe for a 5-y-o - Not for an 8 y-o. For my sweet DD, an outburst like that would be for some reason, and a rarity.

I have had experiences, as an adult, where a friend or family member pointed out my own behaviors so that I was struck with shame. Just a handful, and they have stuck with me. Not comfortable but extremely valuable; I can honestly say I am so grateful for these friends and these experiences. I also have a DP whose culture is quite different from mine (he's white upper class) and who does clue me in about what is polite, how to behave, etc. I don't "feel shamed" by this but grateful. Maybe what I'm saying is that I do not project my own "shame" issues onto DD, because I don't really have them. And right now neither does she.

I believe in discussing the reasons WHY we say "please, thanks" with a 6yo because most 6yo will have no innate idea why we say such things; I want her to understand that the goal is not to produce the phrase on cue but to *make someone else happy*.

I don't "worry about how DD will turn out" - she is stunning already, and as she blossoms into herself she will be even more so. My intuition about this is 110%. Yet I AM responsible in some ways for "how she turns out"! Like a tree growing that will always be itself, but is shaped by the place it grows. Whatever I am responsible for, I take it seriously.
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:44 PM
 
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Well, that is great. You are happy and comfortable with how you treat your dc and I am with how I treat my dc. It is quite clear that no one is going to change thier minds. I am never going to think it is OK to use shame as a teaching tool. You are not going to think it is OK to not step in a take control. I do realize kids try things out that they see and hear. This is not a problem for me. I think it is pretty normal. I do think a 6 year old can figure out why we say please and thank you. And I have zero doubt that dd will grow up to know how to use manners if she wants to. I have met many children and adults that have been raised non-coersively and find them to be very pleasent people. I have met many children and adults that have been taught manners with shame, reminders, looks, and punishment....some are pleasant, many are not.
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Old 12-16-2005, 07:10 PM
 
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I have read some of this thread, and really wanted to chime in to say AIRA, YOU ARE DOING WONDERFUL THINGS! What you are doing here for children should be applauded, so I am here to do that . I am not going against anyone who disagrees with Aira, so forgive me if this sounds chafing to others. But she is just saying some amazing, world changing things. For if we change how children are parented, we can change the world!

We all have little kids, right? But what about us big kids? I was never, ever told to say please, thank you, nothing. Yet my mother had five very polite children. And we are now very polite adults. In fact, my mother hates seeing children pulled up for manners and it makes us all cringe - it looks so insincere when the child says thank you after being reminded, for starters. My brother has two older children, one is 16, and they are lovely - never a reminder graced their ears. I don't remind my daughter and I am confident, because of my parents, that she'll be ok - regardless of a slip up now and then. In fact, she is the only three year old I've ever known to say things like, "Oh this is just wonderful, thank you from the bottom of my heart!" - because that's what I say to her. Sure, all of us here are polite now regardless of how our parents treated us; my point is that reminders aren't necessary if you treat them with the golden rule - less stress for parent and child is the bonus. Let us not model insincerity, or expect our 5 year olds to behave like 12 year olds. Every now and then that will happen, but to expect it isn't fair.

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