Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday Wisdom: Week 9

"No, thank you"?
My mom was volunteering at a kid's function a while back when she heard a parent tell their child, "no, thank you" when they were asking them not do do something.

"No, thank you"?

I am no child psychologist nor even a seasoned parent, so I should not be broaching the topic , but something about it just doesn't sit right with me. 

It seems to me that thank you is a response to obedience, not a correction to disobedience.  Is the phrase sending a mixed message if your child has not yet responded in obedience and you are thanking them?
I guess the main question is what are we thanking them for if they have not yet obeyed?

I think the other issue for me is that "no, thank you" lacks spine/absoluteness that I believe our children really need from us.  I don't want to avoid confrontation with my children (although it would be much easier).  In truth, I seek out ways to test/confront our children's hearts to get at heart issues.  Oh yeah, we all have those to deal with!

Is it just me or what do you guys think?  I am no authority on this topic, so feel free to disagree!

A verse that came to mind when thinking about this topic...
Matthew 5:37

"Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."


  1. AMEN!!!!! I completey agree! When my doctor told me not to even tell Evie no period. I was thinking later that of course I want to tell her know rather than "distract" her.
    She needs to know that things are not okay and "no thank you" is not being the authoritive parent they need.
    That's just my two cents.
    I LOVE you and I LOVE this series you do!

  2. This is an interesting topic! Yesterday at ballet class a woman asked me the question "Where did you hear that?" when she heard me tell Aubrey "no thank you." For us, we use it to instill the manners behind answering 'no'. Like when I'm at someone's house and they ask if I'd like something to drink, my reply is "no thank you" instead of a flat "no!" We didn't use "no thank you" with Ella, but now with Aubrey she seems to have more of a chance to understand the difference between "no!" and when Ella is doing something she doesn't like so she says "no thank you." That's just my two cents :-)

  3. Lol I meant... tell her "no" not know! Sorry I am a crazy bad writer!

  4. Thank you for weighing in on the topic, girls! Melissa, I really appreciated your feedback about why you have used this phrase with your girls! I don't like my my kids to say no to each other either. I ask them to say, "please don't". To me, it makes more sense as please is a request and thank you is expressing gratitude. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your opinions! Love it!

  5. I know I'm late in commenting, but I'm behind in a LOT of blogs! I'm so glad you posted on this, R.
    I know someone who says this to her children and I agree with you, it is confusing. Heck, it is confusing to ME! Manners and obedience really are two seperate issues.

    "Here mommy, would you like my banana peel?"
    "No thank you, daughter. Please go put it in the trash can."

    "Mommy, I'm mad at you that you didn't take my banana peel so I'm going to throw it on the ground!"
    "No. You will not throw it on the ground, you will go put it in the garbage can right away."

    I understand that parents have good intentions of teaching the words "thank you" to follow the word "no" for politeness sake, but I don't believe every time the word "no" is spoken needs to be a lesson on manners. Sometimes NO is the only word needed. No added gratitude necessary as I'm not always thanking my child when I need to communicate the answer NO.

    Good post!