Thursday, January 26, 2006


"Arthur, it's time for me to make lunch. You need to pick up those blocks now so I can move in the kitchen. Pick up the blocks, please." "Why?" "No, not 'why'. When I say 'Pick up the blocks', you say 'Okay, Mary'." "Why?" "Par.Don Meeee?" "Ahhh... Okay." "Okay, Mary." "Okay, Mary." We're on our way...


Blogger Angela said...

Argh! Don't you just love when kids do that to you, keep asking why as a way of delaying the inevitable. I went through this all afternoon with B yesterday and he's a good three years older than Arthur! Thankfully, K isn't at that stage yet...

1/26/2006 10:41:00 a.m.  
Blogger Juggling Mother said...

Go Mary, Go Mary, Go Mary (see me doing the little "Yay!" dance?)

The Why mentality is possibly one of the stupidest trends we have implemented ever in childcare. I mean I'm all for asking why when appropriate, but if you are TOLD to do something by an adult, you do it!

Of course, it rarely works as well for parents:-( But it can work sometimes:-)

1/26/2006 11:30:00 a.m.  
Blogger Simon Peter said...

Sometimes princess number two will just look at me when I ask her to do stuff, so I usually say something like "This is where you say yes daddy!"

At which point she usually says "yes daddy" and starts doing what I asked her to.

Kinda cute.

1/26/2006 11:58:00 a.m.  
Blogger Candace said...

My versions include:

"The proper response is 'yes, Mommy' and the proper action is to do what I told you to do."

"Excuse me?" (much in the same way as your "par.don. meeee?"

"Try again and see if I change my mind."

1/26/2006 01:46:00 p.m.  
Blogger Kristen said...

Hmm, I like your method. I always end up letting my kid manipulate me into a conversation about it. DAMN! Foiled again!


1/26/2006 03:44:00 p.m.  
Blogger Mary P. said...

Angela: Expecially since I'd given him the reason before I issued the instructions. The 'why' was entirely a reflex: a pointless, knee-jerk stall tactic. I really hate that kind of 'why'!

MrsA: Heehee. Thanks for the cheer!

I started this with my own kids. "Say yes and start to do it, then ask why if you need to." 'Why' as a stall tactic annoys me no end.

I generally give a reason for what I'm asking them to do, because I am fair and reasonable; however, I am the grown-up. They don't have to agree with me to do as their told, and I don't have to justify what I say in order to be obeyed.

Simon: A well-trained child is a delight. Kinda cute, indeed.

Misfit: It helps to have different versions, just so you don't bore yourself mental, saying the same thing over and over... Civilizing them is a long, slow process, isn't it?

Kristen: It pays to be concise. Make your point in ten words of less, then if called upon to defend it, simply repeat the very same words, calmly and unemotively. Barbara Coloroso calls it the "broken record" technique. I've used it for years and it's highly effective.

1/26/2006 09:09:00 p.m.  
Blogger Queen Bee said...

Wow, think I will keep the "broken record" technique in my handy book; never know when I will need it one day ;)

1/27/2006 01:44:00 a.m.  

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