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Sunday, June 3, 2007

When Good Modeling Goes Right

As we all know, children love to repeat what they hear and witness. It is all fun and games until it comes back to bite you in the fanny. I know we have all experienced some sort of incident when our child has said something they heard from you, your hubby, grandpa, grandma.....TV, ETC, and it wasn't something we necessarily wanted to hear coming from our dear, sweet child. It seems that foul language is everywhere, and I have to be on my toes. So far so good, but I know my time is coming. A sponge of a toddler is like a time bomb waiting to go off.

This particular post, however, is focusing on when this process goes RIGHT. When the things I say, and do have a positive impact on my child. The power of positive modeling amazes me. Maybe my child is just really susceptible to it, or maybe I am a modeling fool, but Sugar Bear has picked up the most sweet and wonderful habit. She currently happens to be the politest little toddler I know.

I hear the phrase, "Neek you Mama!" at least 20 times a day. Neek=Thank, if you were wondering. This simple sentence makes me smile every time. The amazing thing is that I have never really taught her to say this. I rarely ever remind her to say it. She always remembers to say, "please" also. Here is a sample conversation that we have several times a day:

Sugar Bear: "More crackers pease, Mama."
Me: "Sure honey! Here you go."
Sugar Bear: "Oh neek you Mama! Neek you!"
Me: "You're welcome Sugar Bear!"

Small conversations like this were enough to make a mama silly with love, but lately she has put the sweetest twist on it. She has discovered emotions, particularly happiness. So, she now says, "Neek you Mama. I so happy!" Oh how that blesses my soul. Last night, I interrupted her play to give her Potty Time Elmo that a friend handed down to us. I walked in the room and I said, "Sugar, I have a present for you!" My sweet girl jumped up with her hands clasped and said, "oh neek you Mama! Neek you very much! I so happy, I give you hug!" She came right for me, and gave me the biggest hug. Then she said, "my present pease mama!" (Elmo was a hit, in case you were wondering. WE may be using the potty before she is 12 after all.)
Earlier this evening I gave her a cookie. She smiled at me, and said, "Neek you Mama. I so happy inside with cookie!" Seriously, isn't that the cutest thing you have ever heard?

Not all toddlers pick up this politeness habit. In fact, not all older children are this polite. It is sort of a pet peeve of mine when children are demanding, and order people around. It is important to me that Sugar Bear doesn't take anything for granted, and that she always asks nicely for things. I don't however, recall ever being pushy about it. When she says it, I can tell it is coming from her heart, not because she has to say it. That is what makes it so special to me. I am not in denial that I have encouraged it though. In fact, everyday when I pick her up from her sitter, as we walk out the door, I encourage her to say, "Thank you Shannon! See you tomorrow!" It is old hat for her now, so I only have to remind her every now and again.

I feel so blessed with this amazing kid. She continues to overwhelm me with emotion. I have not found anything as heartwarming, as the phrase, "Neek you Mama. I so happy today!"

Neek you all for humoring this very smitten mama.

3 Live It or Love It:

Corey~living and loving said...

Leaving this with ZERO comments for two days was making me nervous. LOL

Anonymous said...

It's so nice when little kids are polite! Your modeling has definitely paid off . . . very cute!

Mary in MN said...


What a lovely thing you are doing with your daughter! I especially like that you ask her to thank the sitter when leaving. We do this with our boys at the library. I always expect them to thank the librarian when we leave. Also, I have encouraged them to thank Daddy from time to time when we go out to eat, or do something special. They usually say something like, "Thank you Daddy for working so hard so we can go out to eat tonight!!" I think that's important to recognize Daddy's sacrifice so we can have food on the table (and at the restaurant about once a month!!).

Best wishes to you as you begin this journey of parenthood!

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