I'm still trying to decide what I feel about this. DS is 21 months and just started a new daycare where they require the kids to say please to get more food, drink, ect. DS is very, very verbal and quite capable of saying "please", and often says "thank you" and "you're welcome" without prompting, but when he sees something he wants, and you ask him to say "please" to get it, he loses it completely. Screams, cries, throws himself on the floor - and this is a mild mannered kid who rarely tantrums. It can go on for hours like that and he will not say please.
I've been trying to get into his head - Is he thinking that he is being denied food and how dare we deny him this need? Is it just a pure battle of the wills and he isn't about to do what we ask? Why the violent reaction to this simple request?
I also am thinking, It's just a word! And by that I mean, I would like him to be polite when asking for things and not whiny. I can say "Ah, Ah - no whining! Would you like the milk?" and he stops whining and says in a very upbeat and pleasent tone "OK" At this point, I feel like he has been polite about his request and I should give him the milk, but he still hasn't said "please"
I worry too that he will start thinking "please" really is the magic word and just before dinner he will say "Cookie, please!" and expect to get it. If I am mandating please, doesn't that mean I will have to give him the cookie or he will see the rule as weak or fickle or be confused?
What are your thoughts on please? Do you require it? At what age?