Friday, December 24, 2010

Favorite comments of '10: Mrs. C and Anonymous on politeness

(Discovery learning and politeness)

Mrs. C
I have recently been teaching Emperor that even if someone else says that his doing something rude (hugging, getting too close, constant chatting) is "ok," that doesn't really mean it's "ok."

No, not that they're lying, exactly (that was the question I got... why would they say it's ok if it isn't). Just more that they are telling you that it is "ok" in the same way that your answer to "How are you?" shouldn't be your entire life story... it should just be, "Fine, thank you. And how are you?"

(Which of course makes no sense to him, either, but it's just what you do.)

"That's okay" as a response to an apology is sort of intended as smoothing, deflating reply, so that the child is not made to feel bad. In effect, though, it is belittling since it implies that is not worthy or mature enough to be culpable for what he did, and not significant enough as a person to take seriously. Saying "Thank you" or "I accept your apology" can mean a lot to a kid in that situation.

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