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  • Suzanne Rightley

Benefits of Teaching Kids to ASK

Parents have several things in common. It doesn’t matter where they live, north, south, east, or west, parents love their kids, and they want the best for them.

Obviously, the above statement simpliflies the hopes and dreams that parents have for their children… but, you get the idea.

Parents want their kids to grow up, be good citizens, and ultimately they want them to be happy in life.

Why Teach Kids to “ASK”

Think about it…

If a person takes the time to ‘ask’ permission for… well, just about anything… that person understands and respects the ownership of someone else. “May I use your restroom?” “Can you give me a lift, after work?” “Is it okay to use your name as a reference?” and so on and so on.

No-brainer you say?

Not true. Someone (hint, hint… a parent, teacher, neighbour, etc.) somehow or someway taught you, and I, the importance of ‘asking’.

Now consider the thief, the fraudster, plagiarist, etcetera – ‘asking’ seldom makes it to top of their priority list.

No… teaching a child to ask may seem like a ‘no-brainer’ because we kind of do it — naturally, but for the purpose of this blog… let’s consider how much better a child’s life could be … if … he or she, were specifically taught to ask.

  1. Self-control – Teaching a child to ask is directly teaching them how to control themselves. Asking permission begins the process of setting limits. “Can I go out to play?” (Not now, you haven’t finished your homework.) “May I have another piece of cake?” (Too much added sugar isn’t healthy for you.)

  2. Responsibility – The underlying concept of ‘asking permission’ is the recognition of ownership. We ask others for the use of their things because we understand that those things belong to someone else. Furthermore, we have our own things that we are responsible for. Asking ultimately makes us responsible owners… We learn to ‘take care of our things’ once we are taught to appreciate them. “Can I play with your Legos?” "Okay, but don’t throw them all over my room." This could be an example of two children who have been taught to recognize the value of ownership and the importance of asking permission.

  3. Respect for Others – Teaching children to ask is teaching children to be respectful for the rights of other people. At the end of the day… whether we agree or disagree with the actions of our friends, neighbours, etc… it becomes secondary to their rights of ownership (the items they own and the stipulations they place upon their belongings, or their thoughts, views, opinions, and beliefs). Being respectful is a valuable character trait that is undeniably appreciated the world over.

In summary

Teaching kids to ASK is the responsibility of adults. It’s an easy concept to incorporate in daily life.

“Did you ask me if it was okay to shove your dirty socks under the bed instead of the laundry hamper?”

Add a lengthy speech about odors, bacteria, and the fact that sooner or later they’ll run out of clean socks… and you’ve taught a child that asking first may be the easiest, and less annoying way, to gravitate through life.

it's the right thing to do

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