Teaching Your Kids 'Please' and 'Thank You'
Once each of my kids had a strong enough grasp on language, we started prompting them to say 'please' when making a request and 'thank you' at the time of receiving something. Reinforcing sincere usage of 'please' and 'thank you' is vital to helping children understand the concept of gratefulness. And these behaviors ultimately translate to good manners... which will actually take your child a lot further in life than you may think!
When our children started putting together three- to five-word sentences, it became a requirement. And not just when they were asking their mother and me for things, but when we were out at restaurants, at a friend’s house for a barbecue, leaving the grocery store, etc.
There was one time when my oldest had forgotten his 'please,' I gently reminded him and he muttered, “It’s not that big of a deal.” What I said to him was, “I don’t make you say it for my own benefit, I’m making you say it for your own.”
The thing I want most in life for my children is that they achieve success…or in other words, achieve happiness. Happiness can be broadly interpreted, but part of being happy (at least in my opinion) is having good friends, strong relationships, and being successful in their chosen careers, etc.
As parents, we don't teach our children to say 'please' and 'thank you' for our benefit; we teach it for their benefit.
My job as a parent is to try to give my children the tools that they need to achieve those things... to achieve a happy life.
Having friends, strong relationships, and succeeding at work all become easier if you are a person that others like to be around.
How do you become a person that people that like to be around? By providing social reinforcers to others.
Take notice of the people that you are drawn to. Do they listen to you when you have something to share? Are they establishing good eye contact with you while you are speaking? Do they smile at you? Are they polite? Are they appreciative if you do nice things for them?
Teaching the use of ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘you’re welcome’ will give your child an advantage in life, which will open the door to opportunities that will lead to success and happiness.
So, PLEASE teach your child this important life skill to set them up for future success!