• Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact

  • They might say no

    June 22nd, 2019
    kids  [html]
    One phrase I've found very helpful with my kids is "they might say no." As in:
    • We're at the park, Anna wants to play with one of the park toys, and another kid is already playing with it. If she comes up to me I'll say "why don't you ask if you can have a turn, though they might say no".

    • We're hosting a meetup at our house, and Lily asks me if she can show the play kitchen to one of the attendees. I'll say "you can ask them, but they might say no".

    When you make a request it could be anywhere on a continuum from a formality ("could you pass the salt?", "may I use your bathroom?") to a real question ("would you like to stay for dinner?", "can I have your pickle?"). The social rules around requests are complicated and variable, and even adults often have trouble with them.

    While my kids don't understand the full nuances of this yet, "they might say no" indicates we're towards the "real question" end of the spectrum. It sets their expectations, communicates that whether the other person accepts the request is the other person's choice to make, and puts them in a mindset where they're prepared to hear a "no".

    Sometimes, though, I also have a second audience in mind. If I think my kids are being pretty forward in asking, enough that someone might say "yes" out of obligation even if they don't want to, I'll say "but they might say no" loudly enough that the person who's about to receive a request from my kid can hear it. That way everyone involved can tell this is the kind of request that's ok to decline.

    Over time my kids will figure out how this all works, but I think some experience asking for things in situations with the expectations clearly laid out is good practice.

    (I touched on this some in my post on sharing culture.)

    Comment via: facebook

    Recent posts on blogs I like:

    Learning Worst Industry Practices

    If I have a bad idea and you have a bad idea and we exchange them, we now have two bad ideas. But more than that. If I have a bad idea and you have a good idea and we exchange them, we should both land on your good idea – but that requires both […]

    via Pedestrian Observations September 20, 2020

    Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It? Part I, Mining

    This week we are starting a four-part look at pre-modern iron and steel production. As with our series on farming, we are going to follow the train of iron production from the mine to a finished object, be that a tool, a piece of armor, a simple nail, a w…

    via A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry September 18, 2020

    Learning Game

    I came up with this game. In the game one person thinks of something and then gives the other person a clue. And the other person writes a guess down on a blackboard or a piece of paper. Or really anything you have that's laying around that's av…

    via Lily Wise's Blog Posts September 17, 2020

    more     (via openring)


  • Posts
  • RSS
  • ◂◂RSS
  • Contact