"After dinner we are going to play for 15 minutes and then take a bath, OK?" I never realized how often I finished my sentences with the word, "OK" until I had children. I don't know if I feel that I need their approval before we make a plan, or if I am just trying to include them in the decision-making process, but it wasn't until my son actually responded with a "No" that I realized the frequency with which I used the word.

On a particularly clingy morning, I took my son to school and told him I would play with him in the classroom for five minutes and then I had to leave for work. As usual, I ended the sentence with "OK" and my tot looked up at me defiantly and said, "No." I told him that was how it was going to be and that no other parents were there and that I knew he was a big boy, etc. At that point, one of his teachers came over to me to help pry my child from my leg. She told me that she didn't know why, but many parents seem to feel the need to put an "OK" at the end of sentences when talking with kids. She reminded me that I am the parent and I set the rules – it doesn't matter if my child is in agreement with me or not.

Since that incident, I now consciously leave the offending word off the end of my sentences and I've noticed that my lil tyke is more willing to go along with my decisions than ever before. OK?