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To remind a friend's child to say please?

(72 Posts)
snowleopard Wed 10-Sep-08 10:56:12

I'm feeling a bit bad about it because I told DP about it and he says he wouldn't have done it. This child (aged 3) was ordering me to move away from climbing frame (where I was standing helping DS) so she could climb down. I'm so used to reminding DS (who also has a bossy tendency) that I just said "Please!" in that slightly reprimanding tone you do (well I do...) She said please in a tiny voice so I then moved.

There is a bit of a backstory in that this child is rarely told "no" or made to do anything she doesn't want to do (eg get off swings for other people to have turn), which can be a bit frustrating when I'm trying to teach DS manners and sharing. So I was probably a bit wound up to start with. I could feel my friend looking at me but didn't meet her eyes and the moment passed. I feel she probably does feel criticized by me. But OTOH should I let her DD boss me around for the sake of our friendship?

nickytwotimes Wed 10-Sep-08 10:58:20

I wouldn't give a friend's kid a row in her presence, but reminding them to say please is fine. I do this all the time with my friends and they do it to my ds. I like it that they are comfortable enough to do so.

marmadukescarlet Wed 10-Sep-08 11:00:11

I ask all children to say please when apropriate, in the same way that you do by just saying the word you wish them to say (either P or TQ)

Even when helping at class parties handing out drinks to other people's children that I barely know.

snowleopard Wed 10-Sep-08 11:04:35

Thanks. I think it is the right thing to do, in principle. But with this child I feel it could come across as "obvious" criticism because she doesn't get told what to do by her own parents IYSWIM. If we were all doing it all the time - and if her mum did it to my DS which I would be fine with - it would be a lot easier.

Katw3kitts Wed 10-Sep-08 11:06:33

YANBU. Manners maketh a person.

2beornot2be Wed 10-Sep-08 11:06:51

I would tell any child to say please if your friend gets upset about it tell her manners don't cost nothing

Lazycow Wed 10-Sep-08 11:07:51

I don't generally insist on please and than you from ds but I do use them when I am speaking to him. I also don't expect him to say sorry when he has done something wrong if he doesn't want to say sorry (quite often)

The truth is though that ds often says please and thank you (and nowadays he even says sorry, without promppting). In my view this is because that sort of behaviour is consistently modelled for him not because I bark 'say please/thank you' at him on a regular basis. When he chooses not to say it I might remind him gently but would never insist.

With ds sometimes I get compliments about how polite he is and sometimes I don't because he isn't being that polite that day. Surely that is being 3 years old. Gradually he is learning, but I would never expect a 3 year old to always remember to say please/thank you and if I gave them a reminder I would always use a gentle tone.

snowleopard Wed 10-Sep-08 11:09:52

My friend would not say anything because she's very meek and mild - with me as with her kids!

snowleopard Wed 10-Sep-08 11:12:11

Lazycow, I agree with that - I don't bark and I do say it gently - and I don't always say it, for example if DS asks nicely without saying please, there's often no need for the please (after all adults don't always use it). I do however pull him up if he bossily shouts an order at me, which is what happened here.

pagwatch Wed 10-Sep-08 11:14:29

i never tell children to say plaese or thank you . And i find that thing where adults give something to a child and then say THANK YOU (or worse TAAAA!) really bleuuh.

I never did that with mine I just always used it when talking to them so they did it because I did it. Teaching manners is mostly about example. Mine have lovely manners <<preen>>

I'm worse than OP though because I do the horrible passive aggressive commenting to DD on how lovely and polite she is being when another kid pushes in front of her. grin Don't you hate it when people do that!

Overmydeadbody Wed 10-Sep-08 11:18:47

I wouldn't think twice about reminding other kids to say please or thank you if they are interacting with me.

poorbuthappy Wed 10-Sep-08 11:21:14

The amount of adults who I have to remind to say please far outweighs the amount of kids I have to say it to...

Kewcumber Wed 10-Sep-08 11:22:13

I'd do it automatically as I do with DS.

Kewcumber Wed 10-Sep-08 11:24:27

(and I don't "bark" it)

I like DS to use it because like it or not people find small children who say please and thank you very appealing and respond very positively to them, which in return builds their self esteem. Vituous circle IMHO.

LittleMyDancing Wed 10-Sep-08 11:25:22

I think it's important that adults are consistent around children. I remind my friends' children to say please if they bark an order at me, and would expect them to do the same for DS.

Kewcumber Wed 10-Sep-08 11:25:43

Pagwatch DS learnt "Ta" way before he could pronounce "thanks" which he still stuggles with a bit. And very commonly used where I grew up so I have no negative connotations of it.

2shoes Wed 10-Sep-08 11:26:18

I remind ds and he is 16, and I would remind his mates.

Anna8888 Wed 10-Sep-08 11:26:31

Hmm. I probably wouldn't have done it.

Tutter Wed 10-Sep-08 11:27:44



other people's kids' manners nowt to do with you

SmugColditz Wed 10-Sep-08 11:29:15

I do this, I like people to remind ds1 of basic manners, so I do my friends the courtesy of gently insisting too.

I don't ever make a deal of it, I just repeat and add, ("I want a drink!" "Can I have a drink, please colditz?")

Or for older ones, I purse my lips into a "P" shape, and look expectant.

With ds1 I just pretend not to hear him until he asks me politely (he knows this trick, and will usually ask me nicely the second time)

OrmIrian Wed 10-Sep-08 11:30:35

No. You aren't.

Anna8888 Wed 10-Sep-08 11:35:39

Thinking about it, I wouldn't have done it because no harm was being done.

I do sometimes correct other people's children's manners when they are actually harming my child (or another child). But as far as saying please and thank you (and all other turns of phrase) I tend not to get involved.

A very annoying woman started telling my DD to say "Je voudrais" rather than "Je veux" at dinner recently. Since this other woman's table manners were in all other respects really vile (she put the bread basket on my DD's head, FGS, and then proceeded to tear the bread into pieces and make it into a tortoise... in a restaurant) I felt like saying "People in glass houses...".

TheFallenMadonna Wed 10-Sep-08 11:37:21

LOL at correcting manners when they are harming your child.

"If you are going to beat her, please do it politely" grin

LittleMyDancing Wed 10-Sep-08 11:37:35

everyone has got so wary of getting involved in other people's children though, it's not surprising this is an interesting point.

whatever happened to 'it takes a village to raise a child?'

I consider the exchange between me and a child, any child, to be about the relationship between me and them, and why should I put up with unacceptable behaviour in that relationship?

If they hit me, I would say 'Don't hit me please, that's not a nice thing to do' - I wouldn't wait for their mother to say it.

Similarly, if they are impolite, I would gently correct them.

purpleduck Wed 10-Sep-08 11:39:01

Depends on the child..
If a child is being rude to me (making demands etc), then I tend to make a joke and say "hey bossy pants!" or something, and generally they get the picture.

I think it it within my right to expect a please and thank you, but as Tutter said, It is not MY job to try and TEACH other children mannners. I wouldn't give my own children something if they demanded it....

On the other hand, if they are guests in my home and it is their first time at my house then I may let it slide once or twice. I think it is rude of ME to correct them....

Well, that clears that up then....wink

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