I’ve found this phrase pretty useless in teaching my toddler just about anything. Yet it’s one of the top 10 (if not the #1) default commands parents use when trying to bring their wee ones in line. I know I’ve certainly spouted it at JJ in desperate situations, and always to no avail.
What was lacking? Specifics.
“Don’t poke the dog in the butt.”
“Bite your food, not your hand.”
“Those are Daddy’s toys. Please don’t remove them from their original packaging or they lose their value.”
“Buddy, no rocking the extremely large, expensive TV back and forth.”
“Stop touching that. It’s got poop on it.”
Niceness (like sharing) is nebulous and subjective. The dog’s butt is not.