Sunday, May 06, 2007


If you don't already know (well you may have guessed it anyway) we don't believe in making Harriet say "Thank you" or "Please" or "Sorry". We believe that modelling is a much better example; in addition it ensures that she never says anything without sincerity - each and every time she says those things I want her to actually mean it. So to that end we have never asked her to say it, never mentioned it as something to say and never pointed it out to her.
This morning I was handing her a piece of toast. I put it in front of her and she very clearly looked at me and said "Thank you!". I nearly *died*! I was so happy! How awesome that she said it to me because she wanted to and I know that, rather than because she felt she had to. I was so happy from that thank you it still makes me smile!


Jen - Faithful Servant of the Adventurous Duo! said...

That is wonderful Cass :)

You have probably guessed by now that we do ask our children to say 'please', 'thankyou', 'pardon me' or 'scusa' (sp may be wrong, but basically the Italian of excuse me) etc. Kaeden will say it when he feels like it, or need reminding by us, so when he says it solo then I know that he really means it :) . I am swept away though with the amount that Angel will say these things, and in the correst context!

She wanted to get past DH's legs tonight and looked at him, with hands on hips and said "SCUSA!" :) then "tangooo" (thankyou) . It was gorgeous. She will also use 'please' and 'thankyou' alot and I know by the expression she uses that she means it. Although that could also be because it is something we are teaching her/them to say. I think I just contradicted myself :p . What i mean is that although we 'expect' that they say these things, we can also tell the times that they say it when they really mean it.

mmmm......and it is in that last sentence that I can understand the exact reasons that you don't tell Harry to say it :) . Just out of curiosity though, do you model manners with Harry? ie, use please, thankyou in your interactions with her? (I hope that isn't a silly question, I am guessing the answer would be yes...but then i thought I would still ask..)

casso said...

Hey Jen

Ha ha, your comment made me laugh! :o) You were almost talking yourself out of what you do, how funny!

Oh yes, I model manners with her all the time. In fact it was not the anti-praise aspect of UP that was difficult for me, but not getting your child to say please and thank you and sorry that was REALLY hard. I'm a stickler for manners in my own life, so it is so difficult to have to trust her manners to emerge as a result of modelling alone.

But I have to say that I do get a bit cranky when I'm out and adults tend to take away the joy of a moment because they insist on their child saying "Thank you" against all odds. And especially where the child is shy and they don't want to make eye contact, or so excited about the gift that they want to run away with it straight away, etc. Surely in those situations the adult is old enough to not 'need' the manners and understand the situation?

But when it comes down to it, she will find out quickly enough in life that she needs to say these things to get by. And I just have to trust that my modelling will be strong enough for her to follow. And looks like it is. ;o)