Tuesday, February 21, 2006


I've been mulling a conversation from a few weeks back--a friend had explained to a small child that she'll get more from people if she says "please" and "thank you" than if she doesn't. The child had previously taken the position that such words were a waste of time because people will give you stuff whether you say them or not. Her little brother had caught on to the "more stuff" aspect sooner and she was realizing, at age 8, that she'd missed out.

Say what?

First, I have a two-year-old who's figured out that Mommy doesn't get out of her chair anymore before she hears "please" and that repeating the word "more" combined with the sign language for "more" doesn't substitute. The child struggles a bit with pronouncing L and S, too, but makes herself understood. How does a kid get to be 8-frickin-years-old without learning to say please?

Second, why hasn't anyone explained to this child that you say please and thank you because it's just what you do and not because it gets you stuff? That it's the way we demonstrate that we know how to move in the social world? Also, saying please and thank you to people who are no position to do you a favor is the mark of a decent human being.

And not doing that means you're essentially a bully.


Post a Comment

<< Home