Thursday, April 10, 2008

You Can Take That Magic Word And....

I've only wanted to write griping posts. Yeah, that's griping not gripping. So unlike me, right? But it's griping about nothing. Things like how grapefruits have a pretty long shelf life and I still manage to let them go bad. Or like how it drives me insane to change diapers on a 3 year old but I know just letting go and letting her dictate when she's ready is most effective in potty training. Or like how "no" means "maybe" to some people.
They are all so dumb and nobody except Nobody needs to be subjected to such gripey thoughts.

I've changed my mind Internets.

Today I bring you a pet peeve that has recently surfaced or I have had for a long time and finally feel confident enough to share with the world. Just kidding about that last part. As if I've ever been too insecure to rip on someone/something.

"Say the magic word!"

No. I don't make my children say "magic words" and I sure as heck get annoyed when you ask them to. First of all, IF, and that's a big if, see <----- it's in all caps, you think it is important for them to say "please" for something---ask them to. They understand basic manners. They have been taught. But we didn't teach them that it was magic, because it's not. We taught them that is was common courtesy, basic manners. Most of the time they remember to say please and thank you. I hope it becomes second nature for them. But, since they are young children, they forget. As young children are wont to do.

Yesterday at the Y Avee got markers snatched out of her hands because she's not "big enough" to use them. That is pretty much all she will color with, and she's quite the prolific color-er. After feeling totally devastated and taking some time to work through this, she went to soothe herself on "The Goofy Movie". A movie she has seen about 50 times in the last year and a half. I think she has a crush on Max.

I had gone into the bathroom and when I came out, Avee ran up to me with tears streaming down her face (she tries very hard to be "brave" in public and was already pretty embarrassed by her meltdown with the markers) and she was whispering whatever was wrong. I couldn't understand her so I looked around to see what could have happened. The teacher was standing by the tv with The Goofy Movie in her hands and says, "I told her to say the magic word." Avee doesn't know what the crap "the magic word" is. It really bugged me. Did my daughter have to be upset again because she didn't say please?

I wanted to say, "Did you say the #$%* magic word when you snatched those markers out of her hands?" But instead I said, "She has no idea what you are talking about, if you really think she needs to say please, just ask her to say please. She will."

The other day I saw an older child holding one of Bo's toys over his head, just out of his reach, demanding that he say the magic word before he could get it back.

You can believe I gave that child an earful. I can remember when I was little, older kids pulling that junk on me. Sticking out a leg to keep you from passing, insisting you say the magic word. Totally random and ridiculous. Those kids annoyed me when I was little, and I have only a little more tolerance for those kids today. The only problem is, they are learning it from the adults in their lives, so I guess I hold them a little less accountable for their obnoxiousness.

I guess mostly it frustrates me because it's not ever really about teaching a child to be polite, it's more about proving to the child that you have control over them. And that makes me mad.

23 comments:

Cindy said...

"The magic word." thing bugs me too. I worked at a daycare and the teachers that I worked with would always say, "whats the magic word?" and the child/children would look at them like, "what is she talking about?" and they would get mad when there was no response. I had to keep reminding them, like you did, to just ask them to say please or thank you, they don't know what the heck 'magic words are." It took a while, but the teachers finally got it.

Alicia said...

Well said. You are right, it is about control not manners.

The Child Family said...

Please don't use magic in here. It can be scary for kids. :)

TheVasquez3 said...

yea that bugs me too...i don't get it!

Millie said...

I was coming to leave a comment, but you didn't say the magic word.

;)

That would bother me too. We don't call it the "magic word" around here either - it's not until my kids are old enough to watch Ghostbusters that they even know what that is.

Millie said...

(That comment made no sense)

iowamom said...

Thank you for posting the things I am too chicken to say out loud!

Tori :) said...

I never got the whole "magic word" thing either. My kids will do the whole 'you can't pass' thing but they ask for the "password."

That daycare worker pisses me off.

Traci said...

snatching the markers kills me. I'll clean up deviant waterbased marker home graffiti over crayons any day...I didn't know there was an age requirement.

I also like Ave's bravery...poor girl.

I guess i never thought about this before - you are very astute to recognize the control thing. so many parents get kinda caught in the trap of "winning" against their kids instead of teaching them and playing on the same team...

I do remember a poem that my grandma and mom used to recite: "There are two magic words that open any door with ease: One is Thank You, and the other is Please." Hence the magic word origin. ;) But I never noticed until I just typed it that it's not two words, it's three. Man, no matter I'm so messed up.

Traci said...

I meant, "no WONDER"

Anonymous said...

"As if I've ever been too insecure to rip on someone/something."

bwahaha

I completely agree about the manners and courtesy. So many people don't even use "please" and "thank you" anymore and just assume that since they asked or did something they expect it to be done just because they want it done.(Don't know that that really made all that much sense.)

This is something I have become increasingly aware of especially having somewhat of a thankless job. The people in my team are constantly abused and disrespected by their co-workers b/c we serve as an internal customer service. It is therefore that I make a point of expressing thanks as often as possible...dang this is long maybe I should throw up my own post?

The magic "word" is get the #$%* out of my way. Devious horrible, but it was honestly what popped into my mind while reading along.

Sketchy said...

My kids would not get the "Say the Magic word" thing either. Fortunately, I haven't ran into it that much. We do say, "Now, how could you ask for that politely." So can Avee please come over here and play sometime?

Sarah Tilley said...

how could anyone with half a brain not figure out when a little kid doesn't understand what they're talking about? the blank stare is a clue, go ahead and buy it.

i've used the magic word phrase before on henry a couple of times because my mom used that a lot when i was a little kid, but usually i just remind him to ask nicely and he'll remember to say please.

and as a personal rule i don't make it my business to correct some strange kid's manners. ain't my job, know what i mean.

Sarah Tilley said...

how could anyone with half a brain not figure out when a little kid doesn't understand what they're talking about? the blank stare is a clue, go ahead and buy it.

i've used the magic word phrase before on henry a couple of times because my mom used that a lot when i was a little kid, but usually i just remind him to ask nicely and he'll remember to say please.

and as a personal rule i don't make it my business to correct some strange kid's manners. ain't my job, know what i mean.

No Cool Story said...

I totally read "gripping". Thanks for clarifying, for you see, I'm but a little Mezzican.

No Cool Story said...

Tori and I will come to the Y and beat that woman up for Avee.


I don't like the "magic word" either. Why can't we just call things by their name? Say please and get on with your life. Man up Nancy!

MommyJ said...

Word.

Not the magic word, I mean, word, as in yo dogg, word. as in, I agree with you, totally, one hundred percent.


I ask my kids "How do you ask nicely?" if they forget to say please.

Emily said...

Haven't these people ever read Harry Potter? Next time they ask your kid to say the "magic word" just have Bo answer with "expecto patronus"
That'll show em!

Sarah said...

wow.. I haven't face the experience of someone being mean to my child.. I really don't know what I would do. you handled yourself great...

All up on yo grill said...

Dude!! Where's the Photo Assignment yo?

:)

PS: NCS always gets her way.

Suzanne said...

Look at you, so calm and thorough in your response to that woman about the "magic word." I've never liked that term either. It seems like people who say it are trying to show what good "parenting" skills they have by showing off. Obviously she doesn't, or she wouldn't have grabbed the markers from Avee. That is all. :)

S said...

could I please get another post?

very nice commentator said...

Por favor haga el gran favor de mandar su Photo Assignmento.
Gracias.

PS: NCS siempre se sale con la suya