Friday, April 16, 2010

Let's talk about The Magic Word

I said to Makana today after reading the Daily Groove, "Hey Makana! Listen to this..." and started to read the first sentence aloud. "Most of us were taught that the Magic Word is....what is it?" (I asked to see if she would say please or abre which she learned from Dora.) She said, "Abre!" with a huge smile. Then she asked, "Is that right?" and I said, "Yes, for some people." (Alright, alright, I left out that most of the world considers it "please." But on Dora, abre IS the magic word. And darn it, I like that better. I don't like it when people speak condonscendingly towards kids trying to get them to tell them the magic word before they will help or acknowledge them. It is RUDE on the part of the adult to treat children that way - I'd say it is rude to treat Anyone that way, but this kind of talk is most often directed toward kids. If only those adults would think how they would treat another adult and then treat kids with as much kindness..or even more! Funny thing is that some adults expect adult behavior from kids and yet don't treat them like adults. Not only is it unrealistic to expect kids to act like adults, but the adults aren't even modeling the kind of treatment that they want the kids to give them.

I usually tell my kids what to expect in our society so they can know what to expect and fit in if they want to. But I didn't this time. I guess I was thinking that if anyone ever tried to ask Makana the magic word, that they wouldn't manipulate her to answer them since she truly doesn't know. And I love how she says Abre! Dora is her favorite show..still. She says thank you and please when she wants to and is polite without having to fit into our culture and I guess I will tell her at some point...I am just loving how she still doesn't know "the magic word!!"

Okay, I just asked Li what the magic word was and he said, Magic The Gathering cards (of course he associates everything that sounds like magic to his fav game!) and I said "No, the 'magic word.'" And he said "Aahhh abracadabra???" ;) And I know he was asked by someone a couple years ago "What's the magic word?" when he wanted to know if he could take home a rubber band. Guess he forgot.

Here's the relevant Scott Noelle's Daily Groove which I have read many times before and like and which got me writing this whole entry.
--- On Fri, 4/16/10, Scott Noelle - The Daily Groove wrote:

From: Scott Noelle - The Daily Groove
Subject: [Daily Groove] The (Real) Magic Word
To: "Laurie"
Date: Friday, April 16, 2010, 6:22 AM

THE DAILY GROOVE ~ by Scott Noelle

Get the support you need to be a powerful partner, so
you can create a powerful partnership with your kids:

:: The (Real) Magic Word ::

Most of us were taught that "the magic word" is
*please*. Just say "please" and you'll get what you
want... (Maybe.)

We quickly learned that a certain kind of theatrics
was required to unleash the word's magic: begging and
*pleading*. But pleading always feels disempowering --
not very magical.

Fortunately, there's a word with *real* magic: LET'S.

We used it mostly with other kids, since grown-ups
didn't really believe in magic. Nobody told us it was
a magic word, we just knew intuitively that we could
use it to co-create whatever we wanted:

* Let's play!
* Let's pretend!
* Let's go puddle stomping!
* Let's make a fairy castle!
* Let's build a treehouse!
* Let's start a band!

The essence of letting is *allowing*, which is the key
to creativity. And the apostrophe-S stands for "us,"
so LET'S is really an invitation to co-create.

It's good to model politeness and use "please" with
your kids, but if it turns into pleading, you're
modeling disempowerment. Switch to LET'S and you'll
model empowerment through partnership...

"Would you PLEEEEEASE help me clean up
this mess!?" :-(

"LET'S clean this up together!" :-)

Feel free to forward this message to your friends!
(Please include this paragraph and everything above.)
Copyright (c) 2010 by Scott Noelle

"Inspiration & Coaching for Progressive Parents"

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