1. Marlene

    I have a problem and need advice. My son just informed me of his wedding date … my problem is I already had planned and paid for a vacation with my significant other and will be gone that date.

    First, they are already married, with a child but want to do this ‘formal’ ceremony. In addition, the original ‘formal’ ceremony date was in May which I gave them deposit money for and which they then cancelled to reschedule a different date, without giving anyone the actual new date … thus, the problem now with my vacation on their new date.

    My son is pretty much demanding that I cancel my vacation and be at this ‘wedding’ and I don’t know what to do. I will be disappointed to miss it but am also sick over cancelling the pre-planned vacation.

    • Alicia

      Tell son that he can either have it on a date that works with your schedule or give you back the deposit money as you will use that to reschedule your paid vacation. If you are paying you get some say and that includes the date.

    • You already put effort and money into being available for the first ceremony. Remind him that he knew about your vacation in advance, and you are sad he chose to schedule this event at a time when you’ll be away. Then don’t cancel your vacation. I agree with Alicia that you get some say in the date, since you’ve paid.

  2. Bonne

    I have a bit of a conflict with my husband over saying please. He wants me to use it all the time with him and the kids and sometimes I feel really offended when he will end my questions with ‘please.’ I feel, by asking please, that I’m begging him to do what I think is already part of his responsibility. I want to say that I do say please when I’m asking for a favor, like, asking him to get me a drink of water or running an errand. However, there are lot of other times when I just asks things like, will you go change the baby’s diaper, or will you take out the garbage, where I don’t always. Likewise, I don’t always say please when I’m asking/telling the kids to clean their rooms or bring their bikes in the house or to go brush their teeth. What is the rule for when I need to say please and when I don’t?

    • Alicia

      Anything without a please is a demand. So if you say “Go clean your room.” You are ordering the room cleaned. If you say “Please could we watch anything other then Dora” You are making a polite request. So depending on if you are making a polite request or a stern order determines if please is used.

    • Elizabeth

      Does your husband attach ‘please’ to every last request?? I don’t think in daily usage that please has to be appended to every request. There is something between the two, and that’s the ‘conditional’. I sometimes say, “DH, would you mind doing x?” or “DH, would you hand me that sock?” Yes, saying “Hand me that sock!” is a brusquely stated demand, but there’s a number of shades of gray in there. It’s the difference between ‘can you?’ and ‘could you?’, ‘will you?’ and ‘would you?’. The latter is considered more polite and not as harsh.

      The bigger problem, it sounds like, is that you two have agreed upon a certain ‘split’ of responsibilities, but he’s not holding up his end and he’s putting you in the position of ‘manager’ or (worse) ‘nag’, by causing you to have to ask him to do his end. You should have a discussion about that, and you can both agree that he’ll try to do more on his own, and you’ll ask less. Not that you’ll ask less of him, but that you’ll remind him less. I have come to realize that my husband will do the things he’s supposed to most of the time, just not necessarily on my exact schedule. So if it’s crucial, I’ll ask, but if he doesn’t get to the garbage until tomorrow, I let it go.

      • Becky

        I would agree the gray area could be a compromise, including “i sure would appreciate it if…..” Tone also has a lot to do with at least implying a “please.” Another thing to consider as parents, is he also concerned about modeling polite behavior and interaction by practicing it in day to day life?

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