No, thank you

Little Chick has, unwittingly, devised a genius plan to not do anything but not get in trouble for not doing it.

Each and every request is now met with a very cheerful “no, thank you”. The sing song phrase is concise, polite, and frankly delightful. But it’s infuriating. Obviously, the nub of the problem is that we’re asking him to do something rather than telling him to do something. I have always chosen my words carefully, selecting the most appropriate phrase or term for the occasion, but I never come more unstuck than when communicating with Little Chick. Previously, I have communicated with many young children but never for so long, so often, or covering so many varied topics (though many tend to be questions about specific episodes of children’s TV programmes and the minute details contained within).

Every time Little Chick replies “no, thank you” it is a reminder of how well he is doing and how hard he is trying. His language is developing and his communication is ever improving. And it’s a reminder that I need to think more carefully about my word and syntax choice before I correct his. I need to model it better.

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