"Mom, I need something to eat."
"Mom, I need to get some posterboard for a book report."
"Mom, I REALLY like milk."
Conversely, you might also walk through my house and hearing any of these comments:
"Mom, can I please have a sandwich?"
"Please, mom, can you take me to the store?"
"Thank you for the milk, mom."
I'd much rather live in the days where that second category is the norm. Please and Thank You are the first basic manners that we start with in our house. They're a simple way of showing respect and consideration for other's feelings in every day life. For the person that uses these words, it takes minimal effort. But for the person that receives them, it makes a world of difference.
Think about it. As adults, who would you rather work with, the individual that respects your time and needs? Or the individual who demands their needs to be met without regard to yours?
And if that's the adults that we want to see in the world, why not start with our kids when they're young?
Now we're not perfect. We still demand our own way and have days of focusing on our needs rather than others. But this is the goal and, hopefully, each day we're making more progress.
Mom and Dad have to watch out for this too. It's so easy to just start handing out orders, even if it's in our "nice"tone. How many times near bedtime have I started out with:
"Get your PJ's on."
"Don't forget to brush your teeth."
"Pick up your room and get your bed ready."
How much smoother it makes my relationship with my kids when I start using my Pleases and Thank You's:
"Could you get your PJ's on please?"
"Don't forget to brush your teeth please."
"Thank you for picking up your room and taking care of your things."
So while it may be "cute" when the two year old starts using a little sass to get her way, take a moment to think about your end goal. Is it to raise kids who look out for themselves at all costs? Or to raise kids who value others and their relationships? If it the second, Please and Thank You is an easy place to start.
What are some of your family values?