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"Please" and "thank you"

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I read in a homeschooling magazine about please and thank you.

I was a bit upset by it, because it said that we shouldn't have our children say those things and that we are moving away from a more formal society and we should just allow our kids to forget this fomal way of life.
Then I really started thinking about it. I am not one to force the "please" part. I think it has more to do with the tone of voice then the words... which I am always telling my kids. You don't have to say "Please can I have some water" (because that can be said very rudely) BUT... I think that it isn't only polite to say thank you, it also show that you appreciate what someone did for you. Now I am not saying you force your kids to say it, but you should model it. I really apperciate it when someone thanks me for doing something. Because I know that they liked what ever it was that I did.

What do you think????

post #2 of 14
i'm big on both please and thank you. i've worked in service industries quite a bit, and i think it's really demeaning when people don't speak nicely to the people who are providing them a service, particularly when those people are working very hard for a fairly meager wage (in most cases). but it's also just nice, and there's a general move towards a lack of civility that i'm not fond of. so we'll keep saying please and thank you, and will continue writing good old fashioned thank you notes

now, i was raised to say ma'am and sir, and i don't say them anymore...
post #3 of 14
Please and thank you are big around here too. I think it is important for children to show respect and gratitude to each other, to adults...
post #4 of 14
Yes, we use please and thank you. We model it and I think it's important for the children to see. I always say thank you to clerks, etc. My children seem to have picked it up on their own, and I am glad of that.
post #5 of 14
I think saying please and thank you are important. I wish more adults would say it. What gets my goat is when another adult admonishes my dd (4) for not saying please and withholding something until she says it WHEN said adult does not always say please to her. I wish I could teach her to withhold from them when they didnt' say please so they knew how it felt. ARGHHH!

Slightly off topic, my dd's speech pathologist said that children should not be expected to say please and thank you consistently until they are 5+. Their speech is not developed enough for 'rules'. Up until then, it is best to just model using them and repeating what they say using please or thank you (as appropriate) without withholding anything.

Child: Mommy, can I have a cookie?
Mother: May I please have cookie?
(and give them the cookie -- if they're allowed!! lol)

If child does not say thank you when they receive the cookie,
say "thanks for the cookie".

A lot of the time saying 'please' and 'thank you' may be habit and not 'sincere', but I think it is so much nicer to have a conversation with someone (especially in the service industry) that has manners. Also, I think it makes it easier those times when you want to express deep gratitude.

post #6 of 14
I agree with all of you!

I think "please" and "thank you" are very simple ways to show that we don't see ourselves as the center of the universe. It's nice to acknowledge and be acknowledged.

Slightly off topic but you know what really irks me? When I hear parents complaining that their children don't appreciate all that they have. Well of course they don't! Appreciation is something that we teach our children, it's not some magic lesson that they necessarily learn on their own. If your children don't appreciate enough, maybe you aren't expecting it of them!

Anyway, it irks me because it's usually accompanied by some type of "my child is so spoiled" comment. I hate when I hear that.
post #7 of 14
Please and Thank you are normal to us here. They are what adults and children use without thinking. I don't see what is formal about good manners. It is more a way of talking and respecting others. Respect for others is a huge things in every home, I'm sure.

I sometimes watch the Amazing Race (no spoilers please we are miles behind you) and am embarrassed by some lack of manners there. There are some teams who are great with saying "thank you" etc and there are others who will talk to a taxi driver like they are scum eg "take us to the airport now". It never seems to make a difference to the end result but I know I think much more highly of those with nice manners.

Another thing I dislike is "shut up" and I think it is bad manners to say this. When I was working in London it seemed quite normal for children to say this to each other, but here it is almost like swearing. I am appalled when I hear people say it but wonder if it is quite normal in some societies.
post #8 of 14
I also believe that children should say please and thank you, but I do believe that it is age-appropriate . I also get "disgruntled" when an adult witholds something from a child that is under say, 4. I know someone who regularly enforces the P&T to her 2&3yo's and they sound like little robots. I never have withheld anything from dd for not saying P&T, I encourage her and definately model the behavior, giving her opportunity to observe manners as a way of life in our family. I do point out to her if we come across an adult who is rude.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank goodness I am not crazy!

I thought that the mag article went a little to far. I would never withhold something from a child, and definately remind them.
I think, like I said before, modeling is important.
I thought the withholding something from an adult was funny!

I guess it isn't really "formal" as just nice. And we need more niceness in this world that is for sure.

Thank you!

post #10 of 14
I don't see polite language as formal, I see it as an essential part of a civilized community!

We don't "force" please and thank you in our home, but we model it. My four-year-old dd has excellent manners and she did not learn them from hearing us say, "What do you say?" over and over again, she learned it by example.

I, too, am appalled by the way I see people treat folks in "service' positions. And I cringe twice when those people have children who witness such rude behavior. Being friendly and polite to clerks, waiters, cashiers, and so on is just second nature to me and dh, so dd has already adopted a polite and friendly manner herself.
post #11 of 14
I think that please and thank you are very important, and I encourage my children to say them. However, growing up my dad made me say please and thank you for every tiny thing which made me very resentful. I think it is good to reinforce, but don't go over the top.
post #12 of 14
Yep, carrots, that's what was going to be my point.

My son is almost 3. He has always said pleases and thank yous on his own most of the time because that's what he hears at home. Recently, and I chalk this up to his being more verbal so there are more demands, his demands are little bit more ... well ... demanding so I've been doing more reminding on the pleases and thank yous. But I find his pleases and thank yous are getting more disgruntled and we're losing the natural pleases and thank yous so I'm going back to no reminding. I will say something about his tone if it's rude but I don't want to nag and lose all the ground we've gained. I will continue pleasing and thank you-ing and know that he will, too, eventually.
post #13 of 14
We are very big on please and thank you. I'm appalled that the author would say that. I'd write a letter! I don't think these words are "formalities" I think they are essential. Not saying please and thank you is like plowing someone down in the mall who is in your path instead of saying "excuse me" and waiting for them to move. Rude! It is just normal to hear those words a lot in our house, so we've never had a problem with getting ds to say them. I do remind him if he forgets, and he will usually comply willingly. I don't withold things or force the issue too hard because I don't want to make it into a power struggle, but he definatly knows that saying thank you when someone does something for you is the right thing to do and is expected. Not saying thank you when someone is kind enough to do something nice for you is just ungrateful. It shows that you expect people to do things for you and shouldn't have to show appreciation. NOT quite the values I want to intill in MY kids.

I know that modeling it is working very well for us because ds says both please and thank you with a very sincere voice, not in a robot sounding way at all.
post #14 of 14
I say please and thank you and I expect my son will too one day.... but for now I'm just SICK of please and thank you. Especially please... since all my son's friends moms starting in on withholding food and drink from their kids until they say please at about 18 mos old!! Now these are verbal kids so it worked ok for them, and for now anyway they don't badger my ds about it, but I'm not going to be that happy when they start... the kids in this playgroup are all just turning 2 now, so it's not like they're being rude IMO by not saying please. I'm just happy when my DS can ask for something in words at all at this point.
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