11.14.2007

Works for Me Wednesday: Practice Makes Perfect

We're working hard on manners here in Wuggyville. For some time now, the wuggies have been saying the "magic word" ...when prompted. Oh, they would make the sweetest, most polite little requests, cute enough to melt your heart, but only after I would remind them that Mama doesn't listen to whining.

It had me stumped for a long time. Teaching them to say "please" and "thank you" was a piece of cake. Teaching them to do it the first time was another story altogether.

Anyway, I've got it figured out now, and it's oh-so-simple. They just need practice, that's all. Lots and lots of practice. If they ask me nicely the first time, then I answer them right away. If not, then it's time to practice, practice, practice. If they ask nicely the first time, then I'm quite satisfied with sweetly polite toddler-talk, but if I have to prompt them, then it has to be word perfect, and repeated several times. This can take a while. When you're only two years old, sometimes your "Mama, may I please" gets sort of tangled up with your "have a cup of milk," and it takes a while to get it all sorted out. SoI was originally thinking of this as a deterrent-- they would have an incentive to do it right the first time so as to avoid the drill, and get straight to the cup of milk or whatnot. But they actually love it. At this age they love nothing more than memorization, so it's a fun game for them. What's more, they really do want to know how to communicate their needs properly, and they're eager little learners.

Three days in, and I'm noticing a marked difference already.

Works for me!

And oh, there are very few things in life that are sweeter than the sound of your little son saying, "Mama, may I please have some snuggles."

1 comment:

Jeni Allen said...

Good idea! Right now I'd settle for my 13-month old to say "mama." When we try to coax it out of her, she quite clearly says, "Dada!"