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to withold the biscuit?

(39 Posts)
ProjectGainsborough Thu 21-Jul-11 10:05:57

Had playdate yesterday with little girl about 2 months older than DS' 2 years. She's obviously a wee bit further up the developmental ladder than we are, which is fine (not expecting full sentances, confident potty usage, etc from DS just yet) but she religiously said 'please' and 'thank you' at every opportunity. Which was nice.

DS is a lovely child, but refuses to say 'please', 'thank you' or - when appropriate - 'sorry'. It's not that he can't say these words, but that he refuses to. My mum's advice is withold the biscuit (or whatever) until he produces the magic word, but he really really won't. He will cry, storm, go without biscuits for days, but will not give in.

Am I expecting too much from him? Should I persevere, or is the biscuit-witholding cruel?

LadyThumb Thu 21-Jul-11 10:08:45

Depends how you want him to be when he is a teenager. Please and thankyou are givens IMO. Withhold the biscuit until he learns.

thisisyesterday Thu 21-Jul-11 10:10:52

oh he's only 2. i wouldn't push it right now, he has plenty of time to learn (and i say this as someone who is BIG on manners)

AMumInScotland Thu 21-Jul-11 10:23:26

At 2 I wouldn't expect him to understand about things like please, thank you or sorry. If you work really hard at it, you will be able to train him to say the words (unless you crack before he does). But he still won't have any understanding of what you're asking him to do or why, it will just be like a parrot saying "Polly wants a cracker".

2shoes Thu 21-Jul-11 10:26:31

give him the biscuit, but say please and when he takes it say thank you, he will copy you in the end, especially if you make it a jokey fun thing

Maryz Thu 21-Jul-11 10:26:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DoMeDon Thu 21-Jul-11 10:35:03

Do you say please and thank you a lot yourself? I agree with the 'copying you' comment.

Personally I would withold the biscuit, I always say it and expect it said back.

Deaddei Thu 21-Jul-11 10:42:38

I would not only withold it but eat it in front of him (having said thank you)

helenthemadex Thu 21-Jul-11 11:01:26

my dd is exactly the same she can say it but wont, maybe its an age thing

I dont remember such battles with my older two and they say it all the time, so Im not worrying to much yet

ProjectGainsborough Thu 21-Jul-11 11:07:29

Thank you all for the opinions.

DoMeDon - I am polite to the point of obsession and always say please and thank you. Bad manners irritate the hell out of me, but having said that, I'm not screamingly bothered by DS not saying 'please' and 'thank you'. It's more that I have felt a little bit judged on a few occasions because he won't say it (by my mum and another - childless - friend, who witheld the biscuit to try to make him say please).

I like the 'making a game of it' approach, although thus far, all it's earned me is a sour look.

MorticiaAddams Thu 21-Jul-11 13:40:59

Sorry but I really did laugh out loud at him going without biscuits for days as if he was using it against you.

I would hold out and not give him the biscuit. Crying and storming is just a way of battling with you and he is winning.

Ephiny Thu 21-Jul-11 14:26:03

Of course it's not cruel, biscuits are not an essential food group!

Why do you think he's so reluctant to say one little word? My niece was like this for a while - absolutely refused to say 'thank you', and would actually cry and get very upset if pushed to do so. It was a real puzzle to everyone and I don't think we ever got to the bottom of it!

valiumredhead Thu 21-Jul-11 14:29:14

Damn right I would with hold the biscuit ( or whatever) and if that meant he tantrummed and stropped then so be it!

northerngirl41 Thu 21-Jul-11 14:47:58

How about switching it round and making a big deal out of asking "Please" for something from him? Ditto saying "thank you" exaggerated to the nth degree?

Please/thank you/sorry are absolutes in my house I'm afraid. Even if they are quite hollow till they get the meaning.

olibeansmummy Thu 21-Jul-11 16:13:16

Ds is 2.1 and usually remembers please and thankyou. If not I remind him and then he says it. Haven't had to deal with him refusing to say it though, but I dint think I'd give him the biscuit I'd he refused.

HairyGrotter Thu 21-Jul-11 16:20:04

DD used to be exactly the same, when she was about 2 and half, it just clicked and she says it without prompt and in correct context, if she forgets, she gets pulled up on it straight away without any fuss.

skybluepearl Thu 21-Jul-11 17:03:53

i'd hold it until he says please and then give it to him almost as a reward. it's a hard lesson to learn but the sooner he learns the better. it's a treat, it's not like are witholding water or anything important

skybluepearl Thu 21-Jul-11 17:04:45

tantrum or no tantrum - wouldnt give in.

usualsuspect Thu 21-Jul-11 17:08:09

I wouldn't turn it into a battle ,I wouldn't withhold the biscuit

He will learn by copying you

exoticfruits Thu 21-Jul-11 17:12:36

Choose your battles! Just say it each time-he will do it automatically in the end. Draw attention to it and you could get a battle of wills.

lucertola28 Thu 21-Jul-11 17:17:39

At that age they might need to be reminded but I know lots of children who say thank you at 2 or before, if they are able to speak and say a decent amount of words they should. You don't want it to go into a big battle though. Even at 2 they can copy you and should be able to say please if prompted. By 3 or 4 definitely should.

Make sure you say please and thank you a lot at home too.

The amount of adults who don't bother is worse though!

noblegiraffe Thu 21-Jul-11 17:22:40

Is he refusing to say it or is he so frustrated in biscuit need that he doesn't understand why on earth you're blithering on about what to him are random words?

For me, I always say please and thank you. I ask him to request things with a please and remind him to say thank you and make a big fuss if he does. If, after a few reminders he still doesn't get what I'm asking, he gets a biscuit anyway. He's only two, waving biscuits in his face and asking him to jump through hoops to get it when he is still learning to talk seems a bit mean IMO.

If you make a big deal about withholding until a please is forthcoming, you end up in ridiculous situations like on another thread where a child was kept in a high chair for an hour because they wouldn't say 'please can I get down'.

ProjectGainsborough Thu 21-Jul-11 17:48:22

It's a definite refusal. Ditto with 'sorry' if he upsets another child. And I have no biscuit to withold in that situation!

Sigh. Hopefully he will just click, like Hairy's DD.

valiumredhead Thu 21-Jul-11 18:36:39

Hmmm tbh if it is refusal I would be making sure he says it EVERY time at home then it will come naturally when you are out and about.

catgirl1976 Thu 21-Jul-11 19:09:24

Withold the biscuit. You are not being cruel - he doens't need biscuits - he does need to learn to say please and thank you though

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