As the Monster’s been getting older, and going through his various therapies, he’s been getting better at expressing his needs in a fashion that other people would hopefully understand, not just us.
Of course, this also brings up another problem – getting him to do so in a fashion that doesn’t have him coming across as rude.
Granted, I know that a lot of five year olds are pushy and rude, and whose parents tolerate that just fine, but I’m not really inclined to have my son be one of those. Manners are one of those things that help ease relationships between different people, and let’s be honest – we all are more tolerant of people who at least ask with a please and thank you.
Really, the Monster’s manner of asking for things is to state that he has a need. “Give animal crackers to [Monster],” was a refrain we heard quite a bit in the house this morning.
Now, for the moment, we tend to prompt him to ‘ask nicely’ instead of just indulging the requests, and that usually results in a “Can I have [X], please?” style requests. (Like many kids, he needs a reminder to say ‘thank you’, which is still hit-and-miss with R as well.) But people in the real world aren’t going to ask him to ask nicely when he’s rude and simply demands his wants.
We also know that his teachers haven’t mentioned any problems with this in class, and I’m about to jot off an email to them to ask how they handle it (or if he uses ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in school). We’ve gotten better at trying to reinforce what the other is doing… but this hasn’t been a topic of conversation yet. They’ve more been dealing with the other problem behaviors – his inclination not to stay in the spot he’s been asked to sit in, his squeezing people, et cetera.
But bit by bit, we just have to come up with a strategy to get him to remember to ask rather than demand, and reinforce that he’ll get what he wants using the former, rather than the latter…