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saying please *to* a 4yr old

(9 Posts)
Alan71 Fri 18-Oct-19 08:04:50

Our DD is strong-willed, though not usually excessively so, and it sometimes takes a while and several requests get her to do something, including non-negotiable things like putting a coat on for school. My spouse says that asking a child to do such a thing and adding “please” is counterproductive as it’s hypocritical to frame something as a request for voluntary action when it’s clearly an instruction. The internet seems to be ambivalent about whether saying “please” is a useful idea in positive parenting or not. Thoughts?

Rugbycomet Fri 18-Oct-19 09:17:44

I think it’s important that children are taught manners and saying please is necessary. Children learn by copying and I’m sure in a few years your DH wouldn’t like it if your daughter ‘ordered’ him by not adding please.

Witchend Fri 18-Oct-19 09:24:15

Adding please does at times present it as an option.

For non negotiable things I would say "Time to put your coat on. We need to go." You're not ordering them to do it. I'd say similar to dh (well not about putting a coat on, grin)

But sometimes these things are better to let them discover the consequences. So with my older one who could be stubborn about coats, I would say "It's really cold out there. I'm wearing my coat. Here is your coat if you want it."
It took 2 goes of her being cold to change her from "no I'm not wearing it" to asking me if I thought it was cold, and even taking it sometimes when I thought it was warm enough."
With dd2, I used to give the choice between coat forwards or backwards. She liked a choice so that worked well for her.

Rugbycomet Fri 18-Oct-19 09:50:48

Exactly Witchend....sorry was in a rush when I typed...

BlueChampagne Fri 18-Oct-19 13:01:00

I would have thought "put your coat on, please" is still an order, just a more polite one. All for modelling politeness.

LucileDuplessis Fri 18-Oct-19 14:50:59

Personally I say please in these circumstances.

Bubbinsmakesthree Sat 19-Oct-19 06:46:54

Normally it goes something like in our house:
“It’s time to put your coat on”
“Can you put your coat on please?”
“Coat on please”
“Coat on”
“Coat. On.”
“COAT ON”
“COAT COAT COAT”
“COOOOOAT!!!!”

Flo84 Tue 22-Oct-19 17:13:41

First time ask nicely using please, then drop the please then just the word of what you want her to do. For example, please come and get your shoes on, come and get your shoes on, shoes and don't get into conversation with her until she has followed your instruction.

FurrySlipperBoots Tue 22-Oct-19 18:00:36

You'd expect your boss to say it nicely, even if what they're saying is really an expectation rather than a gentle request - 'I'd like that report done by Friday please'. You can be assertive and polite at the same time.

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