I would like you to _____. - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-25-2007, 11:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been amazed at how cooperative DD is when I phrase requests this way. I would like you to set the table. I would like you to put your pajamas on. I would like you to stop doing that annoying thing with your fork on the plate. Etc.

As opposed to "Would you like to set the table please?" which is what my mom would have said (and in my house generally elicits a "NO" response).

I'm not sure if it's good parenting or not, though? I mean, it's the truth... but it feels like a strange way of wording a request.

Just wondering what people think of this.

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Old 01-26-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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I word requests the same way with my son (almost 29 months) and, just like you've noticed with your daughter, he is almost always willing to cooperate.

I hate when people ask children questions when things aren't negotiable. For example, "do you want to stay here in the toy store all night?" If he doesn't have a choice, don't give him one. It just makes you look like a liar when they answer honestly and you tell them they have no choice after all.

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Old 01-26-2007, 12:51 AM
 
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Hmmm, I have an issue with using "I'd like you to..." It feels more like a demand than a request, if that makes sense. Perhaps it's because I was raised with the expectation that a child does what a parent requests or else that I have this initial response...that and the fact that I'm a reformed pleaser "I would like you to...." feels, to me, a bit more on the "if you do this I'll be happy" line of thinking....and thus, if the child chooses NOT to do something, parent will be therefore unhappy. Maybe it's too close to I like you when....I'm sensitive to that. Or maybe, for me, saying we'd like them to xyz sends the message that the child's actions have the power to bring the parent happiness---and that's not really the end goal, IMO. Feels a tad strange to simply say I'd like---rather than explaining *why* it is that we'd like something or what need of ours is being met by the action that the child could choose to do to help cooperate....oh, heck, I'm totally being unclear. I'll stop

I tend to prefer requests as would you please and could you or would you be willing/able rather than I'd like you to or I need you to (big pet peeve of mine ).

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Old 01-26-2007, 01:15 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
I tend to prefer requests as would you please and could you or would you be willing/able
LOL I also make requests in that way, as well. I like to mix things up.

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Old 01-26-2007, 01:59 AM
 
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I see what georgia is saying about the specific wording, but I definitely have noticed a very different response to "it's time to x" or "now let's x" or even "set the table, please" compared to "would you x" or "are you ready to x". Ds is well aware that most things he can respond with "I don't want to" and that's ok.
It's kinda like asking the question, just sets them up to say no (it's not always the case with my ds, but sometimes) even if it's something they really don't mind doing.

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Old 01-26-2007, 02:18 AM
 
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Becky---oh, yeah, if it's time to do something, I don't go into the whole, would you be willing to sit down at the dinner table.....I'm more like, hey, dinner's ready---let's eat If it's a real request rather than a notification--I generally steer clear of prefacing anything with "I'd like"---not that I think it's inherently "wrong" or negative or anything really I think it's all about intent.

But, then, like I'd mentioned, I grew up where the expectation was a parent-pleasing household, so I think I have grown to shy away from anything prefacing anything with how it pleases me. Just my .02

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Old 01-26-2007, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hmm... I guess this is why sometimes I feel like I'm being manipulative.

OTOH, DD is 8 and I don't really think I should have to give her a reason every time I want her to set the table. The reasons have been given many times, and it is her chore, and that is that. I would like her to set the table so that we can all sit down and eat from it.

She does seem to be more willing to help out when the request is not phrased as a question. I guess that's just her contrary nature - if I offer opportunity for argument, I'm sure to get it. Which is great sometimes, but not when dinner is almost ready and we need plates to eat from.

But I think, when it comes to things that are not so much about helping out as a member of the family, I will try not to say it as much. Because in that case it's not really so much about what I want, ykwim? Like, "I would like you to stop harassing the dog." or "I would like you to do your homework now." Those seem kind of weird. Kind of implies that I am the great and powerful Oz or something

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Old 01-26-2007, 08:34 PM
 
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My stepmother used to say to my halfsister and I, "Do you wanna set the table?" If we said no, she got furious. Apparently "do you want to" meant "you absolutely have to." *sigh*

I agree that being pleasant with your children yields fantastic results. Today when I was cleaning in my bedroom, my DS made a game of undoing things that I had just done. I started to get frustrated and said, "stop doing that!" He laughed and continued. I gathered myself and said, "I just put those away, and I'd like it to look nice in here. Will you please stop that?" He stopped and looked at me. I continued, "Would you like to help me?" Yes, of course he did. Problem solved.

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Old 01-27-2007, 01:43 AM
 
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I agree with being pleasant, but I question whether the "I" language makes it too much about the parent. Is the parent's preference what we want to emphasize? Or that this is the child'S role in making the family function? I don't want tomake my children feel responsible for my feelings (I can take responsibility for them), but rather, for their own behavior.
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Old 01-27-2007, 03:41 AM
 
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I do that all the time! You should SEE the wierd looks I get for that in public.

I took my grandma to the doctor and James handed me some magazine and I said "James, could you please put that back on the table?" this man gave me the weirdest look. Like it was strange to talk so respectfully to a toddler in public.

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