Oh, Please!

Every well mannered mother wants to teach her children to use the word “please.” And most know that one effective strategy is modeling the use of “please” when making polite requests of her child:
“Please help set the table, darling.”
“Please pass the butter.”

Yet, the well mannered mother also knows there are times when adding a “please” is neither effective or recommended:
“Please don’t hit Mommy in the face, sweetheart.”
“Please? Honey? Can you stop kicking the back of that very large man’s chair?”
“Please! Stop beating your brother to a bloody pulp.”

Hitting, kicking, and the kind of atrocious behaviors that land a family on a reality TV nanny show, all need to be addressed immediately. In these situations, she can be confident enough to skip the pleasantries and go for a direct command: “Stop it.” No raised voice necessary, no pleading, no extra words, because this is not a request, but an instruction. Think about it. Is continuing to hit his mother/ kick the seat/ beat his brother really an option for the child? Of course not, and the well mannered mother wants to make sure her child knows that.


RTP said...

Please make the Pleases stop!

Anonymous said...

*Please* stop sticking forks into electrical sockets?

Amy K. said...

i have a friend who beseeches her child to stop behavior. I love her dearly, but last time her kid hauled off and smacked mine I gave her a time-out myself. Please baby, please baby, please baby baby baby PLEASE!

Anonymous said...

Do you know Ella Jenkins' song, "Please is a pleasant expression"? It's a cute pre-K song: http://www.amazon.com/Please-is-a-Pleasant-Expression/dp/B000S46H0U

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