Wednesday, September 26, 2007

WFMW--Mother, May I?

For those who aren't familiar, "WFMW" stands for "Works for me Wednesday," where blogging moms share tips that work for them, and we can all learn from each other. Here's my first participation:

Sometimes people ask me how I got Lukas to begin requests with "May I...?" This happened entirely by accident, without me coaching him to begin a sentence with "may I?" I'll tell you how I think it happened.

When he was eight months old and finally starting to crawl and get into things, instead of saying "don't touch the TV remote", I said, "you may not touch the TV remote." It began to become a habit for me to say, "you may not..." instead of "don't..."

So when Lukas started talking and asking to do things, he started saying "may I play in the sand box?" instead of "can I play in the sand box?" Since I never instructed him to say "may I?" I can only assume that it is because of my language with him that he learned to speak that way (and how else do kids learn to talk except from us?) Now that he is interacting more with other kids, he has picked up the "can I?" pattern, but it is not as frequent as his "may I?" requests.

That works for me, I hope it works for you (if you care!)


O said...

Hey, welcome to WFMW! I love that suggestion. A good friend told me to reserve "NO!" for dangerous situations so it would have punch, and I sometimes struggle with other ways to tell the kids not to do something. "You may not" sounds like a great solution!

chris said...

I think you are right.It sounds as if he picked up on that and he is correct too.Can I ? after all means is it possible?,while may I? means am I allowed to?