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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a definite habit of ending sentences with "OK?" when I speak to dd.

I never really thought about it but I was reading this goofy article about different parenting styles (WHY do I read those other magazines???
: ) and asking "OK?" was lumped in there with other "permissive parenting" traits such as "over-anxious to please", "can't say no", "indulgent".

Usually I'm just looking for dd to acknowledge that she has heard me-- I'm not actually asking her for permission.

So, ummmm is this a habit I should break? Any ideas how?
 

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I think I might have read the same article as you and then began to notice that I do this and other folks do it A LOT, too.

I have two very selective-hearing-oriented guys, so, like you I would say it just to illicit a response from my kiddos... But I just stopped... I'd end the sentence where it should without the "Okay?"

And it seems to work the same as not saying it. Sometimes if it id really important I'll have them repeat back to me what I said (this is especially effective with my 3 year old). I'll have them repeat to me, " we won't ride our bike in the street."

I think that the best reason not to finish with the o.k. is that we seems to fall into drone speak (like the whawhawha in peanuts
) and it is good to keep it lively
. They seem to respond better when they're not sure what I'll say...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by 425lisamarie View Post
I dunno. I dont' analyze the way I talk to my kiddos. I'm always goofy and silly though. I tend to say "alrighty!" and so does DS

Yeah, you know I've read a million articles about what you should and should not say to your children and most of the time I've really tried to utilize what the articles said because it sounded right. But when it comes right down to it, it's too dang hard to completely analyze and change the way I speak. I end up feeling like other ppl's words are coming out of my mouth when I try to change it.

I've notice that I end things with "OK" alot, and I agree that it's probably wrong to ask a kid if your request (demand?) is acceptable, and you shouldn't make something sound like a question if it isn't - but I just do it! I can't help it!


So far dd hasn't responded to "Pick up your crayons, ok?" with "No, it's not OK and I won't do it" so I have very little impetus to change.
 

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Ending every sentence with "okay?" brings to mind the manager from "Office Space".

The real problem with "okay?" is that it's such a nothing word. Does "do this, okay?" mean
1. Did you hear me say to do this?
2. Would you please do this?
3. Is the concept of doing this acceptable to you?

Even if one is trying for one of those possibilities, "okay?" doesn't guarantee that the desired response would be reached.

That said, why bother changing if you aren't having problems?
 

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I don't think it HAS to be a problem but depending on the kid's and parent's personalities it COULD be a problem.

I did this with dd all along and now that she is 7 I am working on stopping.
 

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Yeah, I do this all the time, too. And sometimes dd does subsequently respond as if it's a question (as in....Time to clean up, okay? No! [insert excuse of the day
]). I can't always remember not to phrase things this way, so when it becomes an issue I just say, "Let me rephrase that. Please help me clean up now." That works often enough.
 

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Oiy!!!

My neighbor gets on my case EVERY TIME it comes out of my mouth.

I really prefer to ask DD if she'd like to pick something up or if she'd like to do something different or whatever when there is no serious need for something to be done THAT moment. My neighbor always chimes in with "You're giving her a choice- parents don't do that." I got so frusterated. I was NEVER given choices growing up and I held so much resentment. I don't want DD to grow up feeling that way. By the end of the day DD does end up helping pick up most everything if she declined doing it earlier so IMHO- as long as at some point before bed it's relatively done- who cares if I ask her?!

:
Sorry. I'm very emotional wrt this neighbor because that was the same night her husband gave their oldest a "spanking" with a wooden spoon and she did nothing but chuckle at her kids 'tantrum'. Had I a car that night DD and I would have left in a heartbeat.
:
 

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I read a lot of articles things like that and I have found that it is a bunch of poo. I say "Please don't do that" and "OK?" and my daughter has always known that I am not offering options, I am wanting to make sure she heard me, and I will get up off my butt and redirect her to something else if she chooses to ignore me. Permissive parents may say these things but they are also unwilling to go to their child and help them move to a more appropriate activity or just pick them up so they are no longer able to get at what you are asking them to stop getting. The article should have given non-violent solutions to typical child problems, not a dorky list of phrases that parents are heard using in the grocery store while they are turned the other way and not following through with their words due to the distraction of the need to shop and the expectation that their wonderful child will listen.
 

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My husband does this ALL the time. It does grate on my nerves. "We need to get ready for school, ok?" "It's time to come in and get washed up for dinner, ok?" and on and on. Almost every direction comes with the attached "ok" and the exception is when he is getting frustrated. My thing is, I will politely make my request (Please come in now and get washed up for dinner!) but I'm not adding OK to it, because I'm not giving them a choice. When you tack on OK to the end of everything it seems to me like you are giving permission to say no. I also just think it sounds kind of wishy-washy, but that's just me. Certainly my children don't seem to notice or have more misbehavior with dh because of this.

When I am giving directions I try to follow the rule of WHO WHEN and WHAT-- "Sammy, you have soccer in 15 minutes, please come in and get your shoes on." Keeping things simple and clear seems to put an end to a lot of ambiguity ("mom, you didn't say WHEN!") and things seem to go smoothly.

Just my 2 cents!
 

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I've noticed that when Dp or I end a request with "ok" it is seen as a choice that ds HAS to make.
Ds has an option on just about every request I make, but I try very very hard to not make a request into a choice that he HAS to make.
So, instead of "Ds, do you want to go to the store with me?" I'd say "Ds, let's go to the store." He has the option of saying no to both, but by making him make a choice, it's much more difficult for him.

I guess if "ok?" isn't translated by your dd as a "choice" and it's not causing problems, then everyone understands what it means and it's just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I'm glad to know that this is something that resonates with many of you. I thought about it some more last night. dd is usually pretty good about listening -- she does have those selective hearing moments but nothing out of the ordinary for her age. I decided that if I'm concerned she isn't hearing me, I should try to confirm that I have her attention before I start speaking. Makes more sense than throwing that "Ok?" on at the very end, after she may have already missed the whole point. (Whoever reminded me of the Peanuts adult-speak "wa wahh wahh wah wah"-- thank you-- that made me chuckle. )
It won't be possible 100% of the time but it should reduce the okays a bit.

I'm coming up with a list of some alternate phrases too- -thanks for all the ideas!!
 

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I trained myself to replace "OK?" with "Understood?". If I am offering choices, I will be laying out "A,B,and C". If I'm saying that it's time to leave the park or clean up, I'm not offering a choice and make it harder for myself if I make it sound that way.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by warriorprincess View Post
I trained myself to replace "OK?" with "Understood?".
I also have made a conscious choice to say "Understand?" or (if I'm nearing the end of my rope) "GOT IT?".

The OK thing definitely bugs me, especially because I see my mother use it with DS along with the other permissive items you mentioned. For example,
DS jumping on his chair at a restaurant: "Honey? Please sit down in your chair, OK?" (jump, jump, jump) "Come on now, let's sit down, OK?" (jump, jump, jump) AHHHH!
:

I find I get much quicker compliance if I issue non-negotiable requests as statements instead of questions.
 

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It feels like whenever I end a request with ok? it is an option. So I use ok? if there is another option available to dd. For instance, let's go lay down and take a rest, ok? Really, if she says no, that's fine by me. It's more of a suggestion from me, seeing that she is tired. I would not say, "Abby, hold my hand when crossing the street, ok?" Because that is not an option. Well, I guess i is since I could carry her, but I digress. Ok a better example would have been, Abby, use gentle hands with the kitty. I usually say, understand? instead of ok, and I model 'yes mama' to her. Before you jump on me,
no, it's not a requirement, I just think when she says that, it means she has heard me, and is about to comply. She is free to offer another suggestion, or refute my request at any time.
When she asks for me, I always say "yes Abby" to let her know I heard her.
 

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I think there are times for using please and o.k. I use o.k. when I don't mind the answer being "no, not know, later " etc and please I use when there is a choice again. If they need to sit down in their chair at a restaurant, I say "time to sit down". I don't raise my voice or anything, but since it isn't a choice and I do need them to comply at the moment.

What really bugs me is when I hear "If you don't come with me, I am going to leave you at the store."

Seriously, what does that accomplish? Can you leave them at the store? Ummm, No.
:
I have looked at my oldest and said in a sing song, silly voice "well, i guess you are going to have to live here now since you won't leave." She will roll her eyes, laugh and help get going. A little humor is always a good thing!
 

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This habit was brought to my attention a while back at DD' Waldorf school. It was suggested (for many of the reasons already mentioned) that if you're looking for confirmation that your message was heard (vs. looking for agreement) to say something like, "We're going to go in 5 minutes....Did you hear me?" Seems to work, and now I get totally annoyed when I hear people asking DD a zillion questions when they are really making requests, statements, etc. (e.g. Getting DD's picture taken "Can you sit nicely? We're going to face forward, ok? Can you put your hands in your lap? Smile pretty ok? Can you look over at me? Can you put your feet on the floor? Cross them like this, ok?"....) All I'm thinking is, just say "Sit like this" and show her what you're looking for as poor DD was getting so confused actually thinking about all of the questions questions questions (sigh).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by peachpie View Post
I have a definite habit of ending sentences with "OK?" when I speak to dd.

I never really thought about it but I was reading this goofy article about different parenting styles (WHY do I read those other magazines???
: ) and asking "OK?" was lumped in there with other "permissive parenting" traits such as "over-anxious to please", "can't say no", "indulgent".

Usually I'm just looking for dd to acknowledge that she has heard me-- I'm not actually asking her for permission.

So, ummmm is this a habit I should break? Any ideas how?
:raises hand Guilty here! I am working on breaking this habit myself. I find that generally it's for the same reason...not really asking permission, just looking to elicit SOME kind of response!
:
 
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