We all want our children to respect adults, yes? We teach our kids “Yes, ma’am” and “No, Ma’am” and expect them to comply with basic requests, no questions.
Lets be clear. I do not expect this of my child all the time! I am offended when someone thinks she should behave this way! Kara is 20 months old and her manners are exceptional! She verbalizes and signs her wants very well for her age, and while she has trouble verbalizing her feelings as all 20-month-olds, she almost always replies with a “please,” “thanks,” or “sorry” (often apologizing when something is not her fault!)
As Kara’s mom, her feelings are important to me. Not in theory, but in practice. I do not expect her to jump on just anyone’s commands. When a parent asks a question, “Kara, are you ready for bed?” she has the right to say “no.” She is answering a simple question.
It is not my job as mommy to sit and command her. It is my job to teach, listen, parent, and guide her. I expect everyone I leave her with to guide her. While sometimes I am tired, while sometimes I am sick, and while sometimes I am annoyed… it is NEVER too much to ask for me to reply with a soft and gentle voice reminding her to communicate with me. I do not give her everything she wants. But, I do listen to everything she wants. I acknowledge what she wants, and give her what every human being wants – to be heard, to receive acknowledgment, and to be given attention.
What do I think this is doing for her future? Honestly? Setting her up for success and greatness! I do not feel it is setting her up to be whiny, bratty, selfish, or self-centered. I want my child’s opinion and voice heard. I want her to know she has a voice, and she never has to do something only because someone else told her to. There must be a more logical reason behind it. It is my job to teach her to use her own brain, and her own voice, to listen to those she trusts and wants to obey. It is not my job to teach her to be submissive and loose herself.
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