Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Are you asking or telling?

This is for the Gebhards fans out there! Another gold nugget of parenting wisdom.

We were so excited when our first daughter Kalena could finally say "Please" and even more excited when she began stringing her words together so she could say "More please!" However, as she got older, something about the phrase "More apple juice please." didn't sit right with me and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. She is saying please, right?  Then we heard an interaction between Kurt and one of his munchies. He asked the simple question "Are you asking or telling?" It clicked right away to me that when kids say "More please" they are actually commanding the adult to get them more, even though politely asking please.  So when we hear a "More please" we re-direct the command to a question of "May I have more please?" Our kids picked up on this quickly and we can quiz them on what they have just said by asking "Are you asking mommy, or telling mommy?"  Even Katie at 2 years old can tell when she is asking or telling.  When they are older and forget, even just a pause or a "Try that again please." can remind them to ask instead of tell. 

Praise God for giving us the Bible as a guide to raise our kids, and for all the wise parents I have and continue to learn from!! 

Monday, November 5, 2012

The "Why?" Drama

This is something we learned from our pastor Kurt Gebhards (and his amazing wife Julie) and we love it. We try to encourage our kids to ask permission to ask "why" when they are asking "why" in rebellion, anger, bewilderment or any other response to our commands.  For instance, when I tell my kids it is time to go to the store and they respond "Why?"  We try to teach them that kids never have the right to demand answers from adults. They may ask if they can ask why "Mommy, may I ask why we have to go to the store now?"… and usually the answer will be yes, because we want to serve our kids by explaining things to them. However,  they shouldn't feel they have the right to an answer, and there are times when the answer is no, "I can not explain "why" to you", or "I can not explain why at the moment."   There are instances, of course, that they do not have to ask "May I ask why?", like when we are learning about something or I am teaching them something (like how to cook) and it is natural they ask why ("why do you have to beat the eggs?").  Kids learn the difference quickly between the two situations and quickly learn when they must ask if they can ask why.   It is good for them to learn to question authority with due respect, and realize they are not always entitled to answers.