Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>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.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>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?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>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"</p>
<p> </p>
<p>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?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What are your thoughts on please?  Do you require it?  At what age?</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks!!!!!</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,897 Posts
<p>At 21 months, no I did not require it - I woud model it, I would tell them that they should say it, I would tel them next time I expected them to say it, but I did not withhold whatever it was if they didn't say it.  Completely age inappropriate at 21 months, IMO for them to do require/expect that every time from littles that little.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>At 4-1/2 and nearly 7, if they don't say it, I either say, "Excuse me?"  or "Impolite, rephrase please" or, "I know you can come up with a more polite way to ask me that" and wait for them to rephrase.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,883 Posts
<p>DD is almost 2.5. I don't require it by any means but I do encourage it.  I kind of agree with what you're saying, that if he says please and it's for a cookie or something, and he doesn't get it he'll stop being polite.  But I dont think it's really like that.  I think you could use that to enforce the fact that just being nice doesn't get you what you want, there are still rules.  No cookies before dinner or, no you can't jump on the couch just b/c you asked nicely.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DD has definitely started "manipulating" us using please this way, and it's so funny.  She'll BEG for something with the whole, "Please, please, PUH-LEASE?!" and it's so tough!  You just want to give in and give her the darn cookie!  But I think as long as you say something like, "I'm sorry, you're being so polite and I appreciate it, but still, no cookies before dinner," it's still ok.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,599 Posts
<p>I'm not sure I'd ever insist on it. We definitely model good manners around here, and my older daughter (age 8) constantly receives praise for being such a 'polite and charming' child.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Then there's my recently turned three year old dd.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>She will die/starve/etc. before saying please/thank you. She knows when/how to use it, knows that it's considered polite... but it's a huge power struggle for her.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I won't get into that kind of battle with my kid, and I won't let other people either.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We keep modeling it. If I give her, say - a glass of juice, I'll make a joke out of it. ie) Do a funny voice pretending to be her 'Why thank you mummy!' and then I respond, 'Oh, you're so welcome my dear!'</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There's way too much in life to get excited about. And we do have rules that are hard and fast (safety) - manners is not my hill to die on.</p>
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,945 Posts
Eh, depends on the kid. DD is also very verbal, with a healthy serving of "queen of the world complex", so we do "insist" (for lack of a better term) on saying please most of the time. Obviously if she's sick or hurt or something, we don't insist on "please help me with a bandaid!" <img alt="wink1.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/wink1.gif"> But she was sliding a bit to the bossy/demanding side, so we saw this as another avenue to try to make her more aware of others.<br><br>
For us, it's not "say the magic word"; instead, it's more "Be kind to other people. We enjoy helping people who are nice and considerate." <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
That said, if that message was getting lost in a battle of the wills or something, I'd drop it and focus on other ways to work on manners and care for others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
<p>Sure, I ask them to say please and thank you.  My twins are 2 and can sign it very easily.  I don't have them say please each and every time they need something but I'd say 85% of the time I do.  I want to start them early so that it becomes a habit.  Once they are in the work force, asking for something and not saying please and thank you is not going to get them very far. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>My oldest has pulled the "But I said Please" card on me plenty of times.  My response is that even tho he said please, doesn't mean he is going to get what he wants.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
<p>Here's my thought for my 38 month old.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Last summer (2 1/2) or so, I introduced her to the concept of please as a magic word, and made a big deal out of everyone in the house modeling it for her.  When she was confused, I reminded her by saying, "What's the magic word?!"  and if she forgot, we all chimed in, "Please!"  Then she would mimic us, and say "please!"  I kept it very upbeat and laid back.  If she didn't say please, she didn't get it, but I wasn't harsh about it. I just suggested something else instead.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>However, here's my thought on when she should say please -- when <em>she</em> asks for something, especially out of our routine. However, if I suggest something to her, as in, "would you like more pasta?"  I don't necessarily expect her to say, "Yes, please."  "Uhm-hmm" will do.  </p>
<p> </p>
<p>She's actually pretty good about saying please if she knows she's asking for something.  Now we're working on thank you, which is generally only given if I directly tell her say, "Thank you"</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,460 Posts
<p>I would not require it in such a young kid.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>DS is 23mos & doesn't usually resist saying 'please' but doesn't always remember to say it. I don't think it's a big deal -- eventually they'll figure out that it's part of being polite, and eventually they will also come to understand that just because you're polite, that doesn't mean you always get what you want. If I have to follow him around reminding him to say please after every request, he's clearly not ready to say it every time (even if he doesn't resist) -- so I request, at times, but not every time, and certainly don't require it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I can't imagine 'requiring' it at any age -- there are times that perfectly polite adults don't say 'please' -- it's just a word, there's much more to a polite request than one word, you know?</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
900 Posts
<p>At that age(or any age,really!) I encourage it, but not requiere it. Also, it's the key for us as parents to address each other in polite way all the time.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
317 Posts
<p>Here is the question I ask myself. If an adult guest (or my husband, my mother, etc.) politely requested another helping of food at my dinner table but didn't say the word please would I look at them and say "first you need to say please?" I would be the one considered RUDE. And I personally feel it is no different for children. We should not be wielding unnecessary power over them just because we are bigger and stronger. Modeling the behavior is much more age appropriate, kind, and polite. </p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
958 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>healthy momma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291292/do-you-require-please-if-so-at-what-age-if-not-why-not#post_16183910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Here is the question I ask myself. If an adult guest (or my husband, my mother, etc.) politely requested another helping of food at my dinner table but didn't say the word please would I look at them and say "first you need to say please?" I would be the one considered RUDE. And I personally feel it is no different for children. We should not be wielding unnecessary power over them just because we are bigger and stronger. Modeling the behavior is much more age appropriate, kind, and polite. </p>
</div>
</div>
<p><br>
Oh yes, that makes perfect sense.  In fact, I rarely say please when requesting something from my partner, from a friend at their house, or at a restaraunt.  That probably makes me sound rude, but I usually just ask very politely "Do you mind if I get a glass of water?"  or something of the sort.  I always say Thank you, no thank you, and you're welcome so DS does very well with those phrases. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I think I will tell daycare that I feel he is losing the point in the power struggle.  He is very good at being polite if prompted - just maybe not in the precise way we have been requesting.  I'll keep giving him several polite phrases he could use but worry more about his tone than his words.<br>
 </p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Courtney-Ostaff

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,549 Posts
<p>It would actually really bother me if DD's daycare <em>required</em> her to say please/thank you for any reason.  First of all, she's 23 months and can only say "meee" and "dan ku", so I'm not sure that anyone would recognize her please and thank you. Second, I think it's coercive without any real reason.  A 21 month old is a BABY.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>At home, we ask for pleases and thank yous, but if they don't come, we move on.  I try to say it to her consistently, and she (sometimes out of the blue!) says it at appropriate times, but not consistently enough to do on demand for daycare providers.  I think you should talk with the director about whether that is developmentally appropriate.  Maybe it is, I don't know, but I'm not comfortable with it.  :hug</p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Courtney-Ostaff

·
Registered
Joined
·
404 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>healthy momma</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291292/do-you-require-please-if-so-at-what-age-if-not-why-not#post_16183910"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Here is the question I ask myself. If an adult guest (or my husband, my mother, etc.) politely requested another helping of food at my dinner table but didn't say the word please would I look at them and say "first you need to say please?" I would be the one considered RUDE. And I personally feel it is no different for children. We should not be wielding unnecessary power over them just because we are bigger and stronger. Modeling the behavior is much more age appropriate, kind, and polite. </p>
</div>
</div>
<br><br><p><span><img alt="yeahthat.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yeahthat.gif"></span></p>
<p><span>Kids are not dogs, and requiring them to say a "magic word" in order to get food is way too close to training for my comfort.  DS is 3, and we model polite conversation, say it for him if we're with him when someone is requesting it, and hope that he'll get it at some point - I'd much rather he develop a true feeling of respect, gratitude, empathy, etc and then express it in his conversation than go through the farce of requiring him to jump through verbal hoops to make others feel important.  IMO that leads to feelings of resentment</span> and disempowerment, the opposite of our long-term goal for him to be a happy, self-aware, well-rounded person.  Kids learn respect by being respected, and they learn to interact politely by being spoken to politely.</p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Courtney-Ostaff

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,549 Posts
<p>We use please & thank you a LOT in this house. Dh & I model it all the time & I am starting to expect it from ds (now that he can say please at least). If he asks in a whiny or demanding way for something I do ask him to try again. But I also expect this out of dh & think he expects it from me as well. Manners go a long way to making life smoother some days & to make others feel respected & appreciated.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>As for the issue of having to give them something just because they say please I don't buy that. If ds asks for something with please that I need to say no to I make a point of saying "not right now, but thank you for asking so nicely". I think acknowledging that he is using good manners helps reinforce them & avoids them being used only when they can gain from it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I worked at a VERY busy fast food restaurant in high school. We were taught to use please & thank you every time we interacted with one another no matter how hectic & busy it was. Honestly with how often we had to shout requests to one another that went a long way to preventing arguments in a high stress situation.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>And even when I've worked in supervisory positions I've made a point of using please & thank you when I am telling my staff what to do.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,650 Posts
<p>I am totally against making kids say "please" and "thank you".  IMO, if we model polite behavior for them, they will "get it".  I try and let my kids go through life learning "natural consequences". </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'd rather my child learn the lesson of "If you don't ask politely, you might offend someone and they might not be so giving towards you" (or something along those lines) than teaching them "To say please because I WANT YOU TO, otherwise you won't get what you want". </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Believe it or not, even young children pick up on social norms (like please and thank-you).  My daughter is polite because she has picked up on the fact that she is received better when she does so.  She has also picked up on the fact that her very rude cousins don't get what they want (and often get in trouble) because they are so rude.</p>
<p> </p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Courtney-Ostaff

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,056 Posts
<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mosaic</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291292/do-you-require-please-if-so-at-what-age-if-not-why-not#post_16183281"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
For us, it's not "say the magic word"; instead, it's more "Be kind to other people. We enjoy helping people who are nice and considerate." <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com//images/smilies/smile.gif"></div>
</div>
<p>Well said. I feel the same way. And tone/manner mean so much more to me than the words "please" and "thank you." Even those "magic" words can sound snotty if the person uttering them is not being nice.<br>
 </p>
<p>We never insisted, just always modeled. Same thing with "I'm sorry."</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
<p>i teach kids that age and i can't even imagine requiring it. some of them can barely verbalize what they want at all. i always model and if they say it i get super excited...and that's not faking, i really don't expect it at all. whining i don't give food for if i know the kid can verbalize. but i do show them how to say it instead of making it a battle. so if they say "apple" i just mirror them and say "apple please" and give it to them. if they are just whining i would say "do you want an apple?" and if they make any non-whiny indication, whether it be saying "apple", nodding their head. pointing, whatever. then i would say "apple please" and give it to them. i also think that a teacher who is asking for a power struggle like that.....that might just be the tip of the iceberg. but then again we all pick our battles so maybe that's the one she wants to pick. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>i haven't been there so i don;t know at what age i would require it. i do think eventually it's very important though not in and of itself but just as a building block in a whole of respect for others. IMO if you don;t teach respect in a total manner (i.e. tiny little things we do all the time,) then you can't expect to demand it when you think it's really really necessary. it has to be a mindset and then the other stuff will fall into place the best it can. (but dd is only 16 months so you can check back in a couple of years to see if i've eaten my words!)</p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Courtney-Ostaff

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,617 Posts
<p>p.s. there's a really good mo willems book called "time to say please." it's great, there's a page at the end that says something like "you won;t always get what you want....but it's hard to say no to 'please.'" my kids always love it. it's illustrated with tons of little mice and we always end up practicing "please please please" in little "mouse" voices. when i taught slightly older 2 year olds we'd read it at lunch time.</p>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
323 Posts
<p>I don't require it but I do encourage it.  Manners are BIG in the South, and it is very natural for me to use "please, thank you, your welcome, etc".  I don't require it of them but I have done language modeling for my middle son so much that they all now do the "I want more .... please" </p>
 
  • Like
Reactions: Courtney-Ostaff

·
Registered
Joined
·
542 Posts
<p>I expect politeness but not exactly those words. I have a 3.5 y/o. If she says to me in a nice even tone "Can I have some of that?" I am going to give her some and leave it at that. If she whines and says "gimme that" she is going to be corrected. I will ask her to not use a whiny voice and remind her that she should say please. </p>
<p>My goal is to help her learn to be polite. I think children should be taught to use please and thank you appropriately but not trained by using them as command words.</p>
 
1 - 20 of 47 Posts
Top