Inspiring “please” and “thank you” in children
While our children might do what we instruct them to do, they are more likely to do what they see us do in daily life. Some credible parents are disappointed when they see their own lapses in good manners show up in their children and quickly do something to correct it.
Whether we like it or not, learning typically takes place in the home, through imitation. It is a good idea to exhibit good manners around the children.
As the parents goes, so the children! Think about your own sense of thankfulness. Does “please” and “thank you” accompany your requests to your spouse and the domestic workers in your home?
Your children will more likely learn thankfulness when they see and hear you expressing it in your marriage and in the family.
Several years back two of my younger ones, a boy and a girl got into a big argument. The eldest who is a girl cried that the younger brother always refuse to run errand for her. Hearing this I quickly berated the boy, but once I heard the boy's side of the argument I became weak! He had said even though, I’m several years older them, “please” and “thank you” always accompany my requests to them. On the other hand, the sister in question sends them on errand as though they are slaves!
Up until that day I was not aware of my modest and thankful character. Ah! Someone is watching and imitating what you do.
Teach your children to express their thankfulness to those they send errand, from whom they receive gifts or kindness. Even the youngest should express thanks. As soon as a child is able to extend a little hand and ask for biscuit or money, you should encourage him or/ her to say “please” and “thank you.”
Practicing thankfulness in daily life helps children begin to develop consideration for others and prevents them from developing greed.
Method for reinforcing the use of thankfulness:
Let “please” and “thank you,” acknowledge every errand you send your children and everyone around them. Prompt the children to say “please” and “thank you” to their helper, driver, teacher, etc. “Thank you,” should accompany their purchases in stores. After meal, they should say “thank you.” When you drop them off at school, they should say “thank you.” Praise them after they put this good manner into action.
Thankfulness will help your children well as they grow into adulthood.