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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Open my eyes--<br><br>
I've read a few people post that they don't intend to model or teach their DC's etiquette or manners. May I ask-- what's the thinking/theory behind that???? What's the intention??? I've never read about this type of thing. I think I kind of get what people are saying when they say they don't want to use "Magic Words." (Does that smack of coercion, or something?) Whatever the case, if you are familiar with this line of thinking, please help me to "get it.."<br><br>
Faith
 

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This topic has been done to death, I'll see if I can find one of the longest threads on the subject.
 

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Here's one: "When to start with manners"<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=379910&highlight=manner" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ghlight=manner</a>
 

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It has been totally done to death....<br><br>
I will say though for clarification, I don't think anyone ever said they don't intend to model manners. The people in the consensual living camp (me included) simply say they are not going to force, coerce, manipulate, shame, embarrass, prompt, remind, give "the look", or otherwise produce a sentiment that is forced.<br><br>
We are all for modeling, providing information, and showing gratitude and *manners* in our everyday interactions though.
 

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I can't speak for anyone else, or really to the theory. We don't "teach" our children manners or tell them to "say please, say thank you, what's the magic word" or any of that type of statement. We DO model manners for our children. DH and I say please and thank you to each other in normal daily interactions as well as to others, the waitress, for example. We do it naturally and not in a way that is exaggerated or intended to explicitly teach the girls to do it. They all have very good manners and routinely use these words. Not because they were told to do so, but just began doing it naturally as a result of seeing their parents use manners. I really think kids learn best naturally by observing adults. If mom and dad are polite, they will be too. If mom and dad are rude and abrasive, the kids will do the same. Anyway, just my opinion.
 

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We also just model our manners, I do not require them in my daughter, even though she is 22 months and very articulate. Because we model them and she hears it when we say it to each other and to her (please, thank you, your welcome, excuse me, etc..........) she uses all these phrases as well in her daily life.<br><br>
I was forced to say those words when I was young, although they were rarely if ever said to me from my parents. As a result I find my self to this day digging in my heels and purposely not saying those words, especially to my mom, who often occused me of being unthankful and said such things in front of others all the time. She usually told me to say "thanks" before I could even get the words out.<br><br>
Besides, just saying the words doesn't make it true!!! If it's not heartfelt and self-spoken, what's the point?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Interesting. Thanks for the threads.<br><br>
RE: Thank you.<br>
My dd has been saying thank you consistantly since 13 months at least. (She may have been saying a garbled version earlier than that.) I never taught her to say it-- she just picked it up. But if she hadn't picked it up on her own, I imagine I would have felt I had to teach her to say it one day. Glad to see so many children pick it up without any effort, whether their parents teach "manners" or simply model them.<br><br>
Faith
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>faithnj</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">But if she hadn't picked it up on her own, I imagine I would have felt I had to teach her to say it one day.</div>
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We say please, thank you, and you're welcome to each other and to dd constantly. As a result she naturally says them also-and quite frequently. But only when she really feels it.<br><br>
As a result of my upbringing, societal pressure, etc., I always catch myself prompting her with the 'thank you'. I always feel ridiculous for doing it. And she's never once said it when prompted. Which I'm more than ok with. I'm trying so hard to quit the prompting.
 

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My kid picked it up, and is now more well-mannered than I am. However, as a teacher I've run across kids who didn't know basic etiquette. Some were on the autistic spectrum and needed more explicit instruction, and some lived in homes where it wasn't modeled, or where other things were going on.<br><br>
I found that the most effective way to address it was to start by having a low-key conversation about good manners, and how doing certain things helps people to feel appreciated and respected... and how not doing them can make people think you're rude or you don't like them, even if that's not really true. And then I tell the child that if no one lets you know about these things, it's understandable that you won't do it... and then I give him some manners tips, usually things I've noticed that he doesn't do.<br><br>
Some kids are sort of "Oh, yeah", like they had been told this but it didn't "stick". Other kids act as if it's totally new information. All of them generally improved their manners, with no further discussion except perhaps some smiles and nods when they remembered.<br><br>
Even with Rain, I've talked explicitly about some finer points of etiquette, like which fork to use, or what to do with your silverware to show that you're done with a meal. Those are harder things to just pick up on, and she felt more comfortable in formal social situations when she understood the rules.<br><br>
So it's not that I would withhold information about manners and etiquette from a child, it's that I think it's important to deliver that information in a respectful and courteous way...<br><br>
dar
 

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I don't post much here so I have not seen the "done to death" threads. lol<br><br>
I can say that I never force my 3 year old to say thank you or please ... but I do model it in everyday speech. Like when he hands me something I say, "thank you" and when I sneeze I say "excuse me" and cover my mouth.<br><br>
Without any prompting from me at all, he now routinely says those things because it's all he's seen or known and that's how he thinks you are supposed to respond. I think it's wonderful and it was in no way forced, he just followed what I naturally do.
 

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Just wanted to add that the reasons for doing this are to teach our children the intent of the words and not make it some rote meaningless babble. That's what I tend to think when I hear a mother saying "what do you say?" to their child. If it is demonstrated as a way of truly showing appreciation then kids will learn it that way and not just think of it as a recitation.
 

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Dar, I really appreciated your post. The whole idea of sharing vital information with our children without at the same time attaching expectations/directives to act on it is something that I've been learning about from TCS/NCP/CL mamas. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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we don't force..we model and it's working great so far.<br><br>
I have a funny though...we were visiting friends and Sophia asked her for something and she said "sure thing, what's the magic word?" and Sophia said "abracadabra"....we all were <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> for a long time at that one.
 

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Abracadabra! I <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> it!!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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a few weeks ago rowan tried to model it for ME. it was pretty funny. my mom handed me something that looked to Rowan like a present. i didn't say thanks. so Rowan turned to me and said "Mommy...thank you, Nanny!"<br><br>
hehe oops...so i gave him a huge hug and said "thank you for reminding me, honey...it makes Nanny feel good when i thank her for doing something nice for me, doesn't it?" and he said "yeah".<br><br>
LOL!! ahhh, kids.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>michelemiller</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">a few weeks ago rowan tried to model it for ME. it was pretty funny. my mom handed me something that looked to Rowan like a present. i didn't say thanks. so Rowan turned to me and said "Mommy...thank you, Nanny!"</div>
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I consider that prompting, not modeling. When I say modeling, I mean that when someone gives me a present, I say thank you, and my child observed this and then began to do the same when she received presents. When she was a toddler, there was a period when giving presents was a Very Fun Game, so she would give me various things like blocks and spoons and cats and I would say thank you every time...<br><br>
If she got a present and didn't thank the giver, I might say thank you for her, but the intent would be to ensure that the giver felt appreciated, not to prompt her into saying it herself. Often she would be too enamored with the gift to even notice....<br><br>
JUst clarifying terminology...<br><br>
dar
 

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My dc also prompts for me, even though I don't do it. I just explain to dc that Momma had her mouth full/whatever. We show manners by using them every day.<br><br>
I can't help but roll my eyes and become a little aggrevated toward parents who use the "Now, what do you say?" technique with their child. I think it's too forceful. My dc learns manners by watching US use them, and it becomes a natural way to express respect to other people, not an empty auto-response.<br><br>
I suppose you could counter-argue that using manners thereby implies an expected response from someone (for example: someone sneezes, you respond with "bless you", they then feel obligated to say "thank you"), which could be considered NOT very good 'manners' and a form of prompting in itself, but that's a whole other issue.<br><br>
In my experience, the parents who use the "Say thank-you" approach usually DON'T use simple manners themselves in their day-to-day lives, so it is little wonder that their children don't use them either. I feel that their prompts are more for their own social image than anything anyway, and I can see their uncomfortable embarrassment when their children don't understand when given prompts to say "please" or "thankyou".<br><br>
How can you expect your children to display traits that you don't even exhibit, and then feel embarrassed when they don't "perform" for your friends (or even strangers).
 

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It's so strange. Dh and I are polite to one another and with the girls (well dh is not always polite, he has a short temper). But DD2 ALWAYS says please and thank you and you're welcome. And DD1 just never does. So I think modelling works, but it's not magic and it's just a bit simplistic to dismiss all parents of young kids with poor manners of having no manners themselves ... I do not say "what do you say?" but I do restate DD1's requests in a more polite tone and expression. Without withholding whatever she was asking for but rather at the same time as I am fetching whatever she was asking for.<br>
In fact the "please" really is an option in everyday life you can totally say "could you pass me the salt" and that would be polite enough without any need to say "please" but of course if you say "Salt!", well, that's different, and I think for some reason these subtleties are obvious to dd2 but not so much to dd1. I also realized that she has a lot of social issues just because of the tone she uses. So, I would be doing her no favor if I were not correcting her, would I?
 

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I guess its been done to death . . . I'm glad I missed it! Refraining from teaching your child manners is like saying . . . you can exist in a bubble . . .and what you do and how you do it are entirely up to you, regardless of how it affects anyone else? Uggh.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/huh.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="huh"><br><br>
Age-appropriateness seems like a good discussion for this topic - but debating the "merits" of manners alltogether . . . no thank you.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shake.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shake">
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>gaialice</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">........ I also realized that she has a lot of social issues just because of the tone she uses. <b>So, I would be doing her no favor if I were not correcting her, would I</b>?</div>
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I'm with you Gaia. I get that people are trying to preserve the child's dignity and soverignity. But if you don't pick it up naturally? <b>Well, life isn't so great for children who find themselves ostracized because they don't have good manners.</b> So it's kind of 50/50. One parent says I don't make my kid say things they don't want to say. But the kid encounters public rejection and humiliation for not conforming. Will they feel out of place? Like misfits? And can they understand why??? Can they figure out what they need to change if they decide they want people to like them? Will it ever feel natural to say please and thank you for the purposes of oiling the social wheel? Another kid says please and thank you as expected. But feels put upon by mom for having been forced to say it. Will they feel violated for going against their natural inclinations? Will they ever get over the anger they felt for being forced to do a few things??? Will the resentment ever go away?<br><br><br>
I've seen both sides of that story. I sure as heck don't resent my grandparents for making me say please and thank you. In fact, I'm thankful for it. But my B-I-L seems resentful to this day. His thank you's never seem sincere. If he resented saying thank you, you wish he just hadn't said it. (You also wish you hadn't given him anything. Cause now you feel uncomfortable about the whol interaction. ) <b><i>And he's gone out of his way to raise a child who does not have to say pleae or thank you for anything.</i></b> In fact, when my nephew flauts convention, and leaves adults flusterd by not saying please or thank you-- my B-I-L seems to get a lot of joy. It's a real "ha ha, you can't make him do what you want, and you can't make me make him..." type of moment. It's kind of interesting.<br><br>
But here's the downside-- nobody in the family has ever liked this poor child since he was small. And personally, it breaks my heart that nobody finds him likable. I think every child deserves better than that. And in my way of thinking, it's okay if my B-I-L doesn't care that people don't like him-- he's an adult. He wants to annoy people by doing away with politeness? He can make that decision. At least his mom taught him. But since my nephew wasn't taught to be polite, but rather to act based on what he feels, he doesn't have a choice. He can't form comfortable relationships with people. He's socially inept, and now that he's 17, he still can't see for himself how his lack of manners creates problems for him. What's the big deal? he wonders. Please, thank you...they are just words, right? He must feel that the world is a very mean place, because it only takes exchanging a few sentences with him before he's on a person's bad side. And imagine always being yelled at by adults for opening doors and taking things without asking. Asking for things without saying please, and then receiving things from people who feel begrudged. Taking things without saying thank you, and then finding people are on their guard against giving him anything the next time. Feeling like dinner time is always tense because other people are silently disaproving of your behavior. I hope he at least feels "right' within himself for following his own, inner direction. But sheesh. It all looks so.....unnecessarily painful to live bumping heads with everyone.<br><br>
I dunno. Some people seem so resentful of the fact that adults tried to make them do things they didn't want to do as a child-- and it looks like they have been emotionally scared by it all. But I'm not sure you're always helping children when you leave them to do what comes naturally, either. I just have to thank goodness my DD is a little mimic, and she's already picked up on this stuff before most children even learn to speak, because I woudn't want to have to tackle this subject for real. And I don't know how I'd feel if I had a child who was less grateful. Probably more than a little annoyed.<br><br>
Faith
 
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