Monday, October 14, 2013

Day 13: Thankful

 [pumpkin pie] 

Again with the late post. But I posted Saturday's post yesterday so I've still only missed one day right? We don't usually celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia but I've got a friend recently back from Canada and last night she cooked us all turkey and we had pumpkin pie. So today I'm going with the theme of thanks and manners.


I remember the speech therapist from the next town coming to our playgroup one week and coaching us with ways to get our wee ones talking. One of her suggestions was to withhold food until you extracted a thank you (or a ta) which she tried on Charlie at fruit time. Another was to spend 5 minutes talking at your child non-stop about an object of interest. I hated both of these exercises and switched off to anything she had to say after this. How dreadful! For starters I'm not in any hurry for my children to talk, they will talk when they're ready. As far as I'm aware, the research doesn't support the earlier is better philosophy. And I'm certainly not going to withhold a basic right (to food) until my children perform for me. I could feel a bit of judgement from the other mums, like I was a degenerate, lazy mum not teaching my kid about manners (but maybe that's just my projection). 

Anyway, Charlie often gives me the sweetest unprompted thank you mumies. When they are said of their own volition like that and not prompted or forced they are just heart melting. You don't need to ram manners down kid's throats. If you model them, they will pick it up. In thinking about this, perhaps I need to use please more, Charlie hasn't picked that up yet.

One of my favourite books is Punished by Reward by Alfie Kohn I love this book. He basically shows that the way we are operating as a society and our basic strategy for raising children can be summed up as 'do this and you'll get that' and even though it seems effective it is actually working against our aims of intrinsic motivation and morals and kindness and thinking of others. I can not recommend this book highly enough, and when I get home to my books, I will no doubt talk about it here some more, it is not just about the way we raise children but treat workers and teach students. I think this book should be required reading for everyone.

Yesterday: no parenting dramas, though Granma had Charlie for a large part of the day as I caught up with old friends for breakfast and then went out for dinner too. Thanks Mum.

I hope you have much to be thankful for. 


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