February 7, 2011


Please don't make your child say thank you.
Please don't make your child say please . . . or ask for that magic word.
Please don't make your child say they are sorry.

Those are just WORDS. And they don't mean anything unless they come from the heart.

Instead. . . YOU say those words!

  • You say thank you to your child and others with a smile each and every time
  • You say thank you so much for having us when you leave an enjoyable place.
  • You say you are sorry to your child and others when you are grumpy and should have handled a situation better.
  • You say you are sorry to the other child whose toy was taken away or seat was sat in.

By doing this, you are modeling the behavior you want to see. You are showing your child how to live in a world with love and respect; how to treat others .

Soon your child will see this behavior as the norm and will readily do it on his own because he wants to. It will become natural, a way of living, and from the heart. Those words will have meaning and be genuine and sincere. 

There is no need to rule with that iron fist, that authoritarian model, no matter how we were raised.  Most of us were made to say please, thank you and sorry, time and time again, but just because it was always done that way doesn't make it right. 

How did you feel when you were made to say something you didn't feel or want to say?
Did those words mean anything when you said them?

Do you want more for our children?
Breathe, be gentle and kind, be softer, be positive, say yes and let the child's joy be their words until they know how to use them on their own.  A smile and laughter and a wave goodbye shows they had fun.

"It is usually assumed that children who aren't made to obey their parents will grow to be unruly, disrespectful, and 'out of control'. Nothing could be further from the truth. Children who are treated with respect are respectful of others. Children who are listened to as equals listen to others as equals. Children whose opinions are valued value others' opinions. A family where parents and children are allies is a peaceful family."

happy day!


Lise said...

Hear, hear!! Great post. One of the first things I ask parents when they enroll in my program is not to make them say hello and goodbye to me, for similar reasons. And oh, how that "magic word" stuff grates on me!

michelle and murph said...

I couldn't have said it better myself!!

Cheryl said...

This approach is really appealing. I hate extracting a word with no meaning from one child to satisfy another. I model behaviour in so many ways but I haven't trusted or allowed the time to do it with please, thank you and sorry. Food for thought. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Love this!! I should live this tonight! Thanks luv!

Lisa said...

Thank you! (pun intended)

Great piece, important concepts.