Friday, 3 May 2013

The Soft Touch

Some cyber kakis and I were having a delightful exchange over a forum, on the usage of the words "you" and "we" when communicating with our children and how these words work in trying to get things done with them. So, I thought I should just chip in my 2 cents on this topic. Tongue-in-cheek of course, well, you know me... LOL!

When it comes to language and the ways of communication, there is never just one sure-fire way... a perfect way... regardless if one speaks to a child or a teen or an adult.

The English Language itself on its own, is a complex language to comprehend. A word can be spelt exactly the same but pronounced differently by two different people. Like you may say toh-mah-toe but i say toh-may-toe. Different right? But both refer to the same thing. Hee.

A word as simple as "you" used in whatever context for whichever age can sound both inviting and condescending depending on the body language and the tone of the one who speaks it. Not so much of whether we should or should not use the word at all for people of different age groups. 

Like say... if we are using these same words to the three age groups - child / teen / adult. Example oni hor.

Child : You want? :love: - The tone here will sound inviting/welcoming.
Child : You want? :evil: - The usage here can sound evil and leaning towards mean.
Child : You want? :roll: - The tone can sound somewhat sarcastic too.

Teen : You want? :skeptical: - The tone can sound judgmental.
Teen : You want? :laugh: - This can lean towards mocking.
Teen : You want? :heresmyfish: - Teasing tone.

Adult : You want? :wink: - Sharing mood.
Adult : You want?! :yikes: - Think of this tone as when a friend shares abt wanting a 7th child cos she loves children.
Adult : You want...? :evil: - A demure yet sexy invitation. Nuff said.

The manner the words were expressed was the main factor as to the response it will receive.

Using "we" in sentences is definitely more inclusive.. more inviting.. more endearing so to speak, regardless of whom we are telling it to. Of course, the "we" can still come out strong and sharp if the speaker intended for the word to cut deep as well. I personally do not believe that "we" can no longer be appropriate for children of different ages. Perhaps the nature (way) and the environment a child is brought up also plays a part if one may likely find it unsuitable. I have friends and family whom to date, still use the word "we" and the telling part of their relationship can only be described as close knit and affectionate. Not to say that they don't use the word "you" at all, of course. LOL! Not possible definitely. 

Likewise for the usage of "we", it can jolly well mean how you want it to be.

A supervisor : You are in big trouble.
Same supervisor : We are in big trouble.

1st one, the chap doing a blame game and the second is an acknowledgment that his subordinate is in big trouble but the assurance shows that he meant to either help to work things out or willing to lend an ear.

A mom telling her child : You are in big trouble.
Same mom telling the same child : We are in big trouble.

1st stance the child is sure to bawl but in the second, the mom knows the kind of trouble but can mean that she understands that the child will need some assistance getting out of it even though if it means that the child will eventually have to get out of that trouble himself.

There will be occasions where you wanna get things done. The usage of "we" and "you" will yield different responses as well. Just the other day, buds_hubs came home from work and was very sweet to offer his help in getting the boys to have their bath. So... this transpired when he was trying to get buds_chubs to have his shower.

Hubs : You. Shower.
Chubs : Nope. Not yet. (He meant not now.) :rotflmao:

Hubs was :frustrated: because it got chubs and him into a scream fest for awhile. So.....

I said : We shower?
Chubs : Okay mommy. Wets go! (He meant let's go.) :rotflmao:

That made hubs fume for awhile. As usual claiming chubs was becoming quite the brat and that I spoiled him. He :roll: his eyes at chubs teasingly much to the boy's delight. Seeing hubs still lazing around and seemingly like no longer wanting to have his bath after chubs was done, I scolded him. 

Pointing to him. I said.

"YOU!" :mad: 

"Shower!" :evil:

He immediately stood up and said, "Yes ma'am. We shower." :rubhands:

We can all work the we's and the you's how we want it to. The skill is in how we do it and make it work. Suffice to say, for those of us who use "we" more often than "you"... we make things easier on ourselves by not having to stress so much about drawing that line by using the "you" to emphasize the reference and the importance that, it is "your responsibility"... "your exam"... "your homework"... "your room"... etc. 

By alternating to using "we" more often, we clearly define that line without having to even draw it. It's the soft touch to getting things done your way without so much as a fuss. But of course, as I have said earlier, it is a skill not just anyone can master. :evil:

However, once you've mastered the art of the soft touch... no matter which word you use... be it "you" or "we"... no matter what, it will just work, how you want it to be without the :rant:



Peace out.

Buds' Note : No matter what words or techniques we use with
 our children, we all use the ways that work for us. 

I ain't judging. 

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