20 February 2008

woof woof

Oliver has taken to ordering his mum around, despite my pleas for more "please" as in, "May I please have current object of desire?" rather than "I want current object of desire," or "Get me current object of desire!" Today I made the mistake of asking Oliver to stop barking orders at me. His response? "Woof woof!" And to think I feared he didn't understand sarcasm....


Unknown said...

Sneaky tactic: practice always saying "Please" to your kids for a few weeks (you're in for a shock otherwise, as he's old enough to recite chapter and verse of how you "order" him around -- I actually found that I gave a lot of orders, so this cleaning up of my act was good for me); then point out to him that you always say "Please" and are polite to him. You can take this a couple of ways. You can talk about why you are polite and how it makes you feel, and about how rudeness makes you feel. You can announce that you are going to be rude for the next 15 minutes (put on the timer) and then be clownishly rude and impossible if you think he can handle that, or you can announce that you aren't going to respond to anything but being polite. More than anything, be sure to notice when he is polite. Link his being polite with what a big boy he is becoming. Every so often, reward him "because I was noticing how polite you've been recently." It's tedious, but keep at it as it is well worth it.

And you are doing a wonderful job with him, especially in helping him be self aware about how being tired or sick affects his moods.

ClumberKim said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Virginia. I have been trying to make sure I'm using my manners too (though my family would tell you I have manners I haven't used yet!) and finding out just how hard it is!

Unknown said...

I'll remember "my family would tell you I have manners I haven't used yet!" - a wonderful phrase!

Ever since I picked up your blog through a Williams connection, I've been enjoying the memories you've evoked of my child's early years. The time goes so fast: my child is a first-year at Williams now. It just gets better and better every year.

When my child was your son's age, I read the best book I ever found on parenting. It was called something like How to Talk So your Children Will Listen and How to Listen So Your Children Will Talk (or maybe vice versa). It really was pretty smooth sailing for us from there on out, in part because of my child's temperament but mostly because that book helped me to understand and appreciate how my child and I are two very different people. What a rich journey that understanding ushered in for us!

Thank you for sharing a bit of your lives.

ClumberKim said...

This is very comforting. I have had that book on my wishlist at http://www.paperbackswap.com for a while. Tried to get it through my library but failed (that speaks well to its popularity). I should try again.

Someday you'll have to tell me about how your son chose Williams. I am so hoping my kids will go there too (and then get fellowships to Cambridge to make their father equally chuffed) but when I was choosing a college my mother had little influence. When we left Williams for the first time it was already the only place I wanted to go and her reaction was, "I hope you aren't thinking of applying there!"