No No No

Another exchange between Zits‘s Jeremy and his mother:

(The panels are sideways so that they’ll fit into the usual cartoon layout. Don’t blame me.) (As usual, click on the image to embiggen it.)

Jeremy’s question has been successively reduced by his mother’s denials to a single syllable (also a single morpheme and a single word). But then he understood that she wasn’t going to change her mind if he just persevered in asking for permission.

4 Responses to “No No No”

  1. levimontgomery Says:

    “But then he understood that she wasn’t going to change her mind if he just persevered in asking for permission.”

    Which makes him an unusually bright teenager, says this father of six.

  2. Mary Says:

    A recent study showed that children ask/whine for something an average of nine times before giving up. The sideways panels almost captures it….

  3. arnoldzwicky Says:

    To Mary: nice factoid. What’s the source? (You knew I was going to ask that, didn’t you?) It resonates with a great many parents, of course.

    My impression is that this behavior is most often directed towards primary caregivers, but much less often towards other people, so that aunts, uncles, and grandparents see much less of it than parents do. I wonder if my impression is accurate.

    The behavior directed towards primary caregivers might be encouraged by some parents and others who do, in fact, relent after a certain number of requests/demands/whines.

  4. arnoldzwicky Says:

    A very large topic (or, more likely, several topics) I didn’t cover in the posting has to do with circumstances in which repetition is customary or expected.

    One situation in which this happens is in offer-refusal pairs. There are circumstances — this is very culture-specific and situation-specific — where an offer will be repeated a certain number of times before a repeated refusal is accepted, and others in which it’s expected that a refusal will be repeated a certain number of times before a repeated offer is accepted.

    Another situation is in request-denial pairs. The patterns are much like those in offer-refusal pairs (repeated requests before a repeated denial is accepted, repeated denials before a repeated request is granted), though the relevant cultural and social circumstances are, of course, different in the two situations. (The request-denial pattern is a well-known complexity in some male-female interactions, where, classically, you can see both a woman’s desire not to grant a man’s request too hastily and also a man’s reluctance to accept a woman’s denial too hastily.)

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