Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Read this! (Please)

Alan has known and used the baby-sign for "thank you" for quite some time now. A couple of weeks ago we introduced "please" in hopes of replacing grunts and whines for getting what he wants. It has worked great and, as an added bonus, it's really cute!

Ah... but manners are a two-way street:

Greg and I read recently the suggestion to give your little ones opportunities to choose to obey.

I went through one of these little exercises with Alan yesterday. We were at a playground, and it was hot. He had been sitting in the shade with me drinking gatorade and began to wander off.

That was fine, but I didn't want him carrying his cup around. Instead of just taking it from him, I asked him to give it to me.

"Alan - give me your cup."

He threw it down.

I swatted his bottom.

And gave him back his cup.

"Alan - give me your cup."

Alan looked me right in the eye and said/signed "please".

I felt like a bird in a zoo - I cocked my head at him, eyeing him and wondering if he was doing what I thought he was. I decided to test my theory:

"Alan - give me your cup, please."

One great big grin from Alan and he promptly handed the cup right over!

Did I feel manipulated? Slightly.

Would I let that little trick work for him again? Probably not.

Was it adorable? Absolutely!


Kimberly said...

Looks like he learned the meaning perfectly! I have noticed I have had to start working on my politeness and such now that Micah clearly knows the difference. If I want him to say please and thank you, I have to say it too...even if it is just Daddy! :)

lora and stephen said...

How adorable. He sounds like a cutie. I love your idea of giving your kids opportunities to obey. My kids are 4, 7, and 9. I wonder if it is too late to start?