My wife and I have been working on “please” and “thank you” with our son since he learned to speak. We’ve used the following strategies:
- Asking him to rephrase his request the polite way.
- Asking him, “What do you say?” when giving him something.
- Modelling how to give thanks throughout the day when he does something good.
When it comes to requesting and thanking us for food, more often than not our son is like the triangle being asked to roll. He has a very hard time remembering to use his “nice words”.
Recently, however, he HAS started thanking us for OTHER things:
- For holding hands down the stairs. He knows the value of a good hand hold and wants to make sure I know I am being rewarded for my efforts:
- For saving mommy:
As you can see, I don’t really have any magical advice on teaching manners to your children other than to keep at it despite the early results. As with everything, it takes a lot of repetition. Don’t give up! You never know when you’ll grow a cape and save the day with your efforts.