The Art of Saying Please and Thank You
When I was little, my parents instilled in me the habit of saying "please" and "thank you" in a number of situations. It was polite, and if I didn’t include the word, I got “the look” and a whispered reminder to say the word(s) I’d omitted. As I got older, the habit actually started to mean something. No little girl wants to get a brown and orange plaid sweater from their aunt when they were hoping for a Shaun Cassidy poster (I was born in the early 70s). This gets a forced "thank you." However, when I got the poster from another relative, they got the "Thank you!" accompanied by a big smile and a sincere hug.
We’ve likely all been there. My husband and I have passed along the politeness trend to my two daughters. In their later teenage years, they now get it. I get the eye-roll at the holidays or in any situation if I ask if they remembered to thank the person who gave them a gift or helped them. However, I’d rather have them annoyed at my making sure they were polite than to have them wonder why they should say please or thank you.
It astounds me how many people either don’t understand the importance of simply being polite. Kids and Halloween are a great example. Most of the children in our neighborhood say "thank you" after the candy is dropped into their pail. There are always a few who take off without uttering anything. When they run to the sidewalk (through the grass and shrubs—not on the paved walkway) to their parents, they’re asked, "What did you get?," not "Did you say thank you?". And the trend will continue when they have kids and so on and so on.
Can I break that trend? Not alone, but with your help!