The thing about parenting rules is there aren’t any. That’s what makes it so difficult.Ewan McGregor
You have done it. Just admit it. You have heard it happen all over the place. It happens in doctor’s offices, stores, schools, airports, and at home. It happens EVERYWHERE! Parents set out a guideline for their children and follow it with….. OK? Honey, pick up your toys ok? Johnny, it’s time to get ready for school ok? Macie, stop hitting the dog ok?
Do we really mean to ask this question? Why do we ask a question at the end of a directive? What is happening to the parent/child dynamic when we ask this seemingly harmless question?
By asking a question at the end of a direction for children, parents are giving away their power completely. Parents give direction to their child to do something they want done which is expected of parents and fits the parent/child dynamic. Yet, all of a sudden, the parent inserts an ok? at the end of the direction and now the direction is a question. Do you want to do this or not? I think parents develop a habit of inserting ok? because they are trying to sound nice to whomever may be around at the time. Stop caring what others think of you parenting your child! It’s perfectly acceptable for you to tell your child to do something. “Johnny, don’t walk out in the street…ok?” Sounds ridiculous right?
Children come away from the experience of a direction followed by ok? confused about what they should do. Did mom just tell me to clean my room or not? Is she asking me if I think it’s ok? Seriously, I don’t WANT to clean my room , so I guess I will pass on that. “No. mom. It’s not ok.”
Think how funny it would be if your boss starting using this tactic with you at work. “George, I am going to need that information on my desk by Monday morning…. ok?” Wait….What?! Do you need to get the information to him or not?
Communication is hard in every relationship. We take items that should be simple and complicate them because we don’t want to sound harsh, demanding or rude. I believe communication is worse for everyone when we are wishy- washy. Don’t add confusion to a conversation by adding ok to your sentences. It’s a bad habit and you can break it!
“OK” (spelling variations include “okay”, “O.K.“, and “ok“) is an American English word denoting approval, acceptance, agreement, assent, acknowledgment, or a sign of indifference (Wikipedia)