10 Ways To Encourage Your Child To Say 'Please' And 'Thank You'

So your little one is running around like a tyrant and says things like, 'Give' when they want something, instead of 'Please...' Or you have just spent your last dollar buying them the toy they wanted and they grab it from you without so much as a 'Thank you'.

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This is when the Mama Bear in you needs to rise. Part of protecting your child and helping them stay safe and secure and successful in life, is teaching them good manners. Here are 10 ways you can, with relative ease, teach your child to say 'Please' and 'Thank you':

10 Practice at home

Practicing manners at home is invaluable, as the child's behaviour away from a home environment will very quickly tell others what is going on inside of the home.

If they can get away with murder at home, don't expect them to become angels away from home. Make them say, 'Please' when they ask you for something at home, and make sure they say 'Thank you' when you give it to them.

9 Be a good role model

If your default is to snatch things from others and be ungrateful towards everything others do for you, they will learn from you.

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Take a good look in the mirror. Are you maybe the culprit in terms of being the one who has taught your little darling to be just that tiny bit demanding and ungrateful? Make sure as a role model that you say your Ps and Qs. It can be that simple!

8 Help them learn through positive reinforcement

When they demand or threaten for something, or they take something, showing complete ingratitude, count to 10 and berate them without losing your cool. What works more effectively is paying attention to the behavior which is good.

This means appraisal when their behaviour lines up with what is good and socially-appropriate. Appraisal might take the form of a compliment or big hug or a small reward. It might also mean adding an extra star to that star chart which they are hoping will bring in a reward.

7 Let them know why

Sometimes it's not enough for moms to throw their toys when trying to teach their child to change their behavior.

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Good communication is vital and this means explaining to your child why displaying good manners, through saying 'Please' and 'Thank you', is to their advantage. You might explain to them how adults who display these qualities in their communication, are more likely to succeed in life and climb the corporate and social ladder. Put all of this, of course, into child-friendly words so that your child fully understands that being polite is the best way to go - for them.

6 Create a star chart

There is nothing like a colorful star chart with the promise of a reward to promote good behavior and make a child mindful of their conduct. Star charts continue to be one of the most effective ways of coaching children to behave in desirable, socially-appropriate ways.

Each time they remember their Ps and Qs, give them a star - a pink star, for example for a 'Please', and a green star for a 'Thank you'. When they have reached a certain number of stars, have some small prizes available which they can choose from.

5 Point to role models they know

Children look up to certain adults or bigger kids in their circle of influence. These role models are invaluable in shaping their behavior and attitudes. Maybe your child has a coach who always says 'Please', or there is someone on TV, such as Captain America, who says 'Thank you' a lot. Make the effort of pointing this out to your child.

They will be pleased to know that the people they admire in the world have good manners and if the person in question is someone your child wants to be like when they grow up, they will be more likely to begin saying Ps and Qs if that person says them.

4 Put post-it reminders up

Children learn by repetition and positive reinforcement. They also learn more quickly when there is a lot of color involved. Colorful charts and encouraging sentiments which focus on manners and attitudes of gratitude and kindness can be put around your home.

While these notes might seem quite passive, continual exposure to them will eventually start to leave an imprint in your child's mind. As they say, thoughts influence behavior. This continued exposure to positive material will eventually translate into better manners in your child.

3 Show patience

They say Rome wasn't built in a day. The same is true for behavior modification. This means that some patience might be necessary when attempting to shape your child's behavior. Step-by-step your child will start to respond to your efforts, but don't be hard on yourself or on them. Reward each step and celebrate the small victories.

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Moms might like to keep some kind of a logbook to chronicle their journey. This is helpful as when things get tough, you can look back and see how far you have come. Perseverance does it!

2 Be kind to yourself

The problem with overly stressing about your child's behavior is that you run the risk of becoming 'anxious mommy' or 'scary mommy', and this won't help your child at all! 'Calm mommy' is more likely to be influential in terms of behavior modification.

Keep your cool and be kind to yourself. Remember, real change happens over time and you are a good mom! Remember, when you are kind to yourself, you are more likely to be gracious in your conduct and you will be a better role model - the kind who says 'Thank you' when your child finally says, 'Please'.

1 Take them out in public

So you consider yourself a good coach? And you think the kids are ready for a test? Why not take them out for an ice cream.

Come on, make the whole exercise fun. Get them to order their best ice cream using a 'Please', and when it comes, let them practice a 'Thank you'. Coaching them means getting them used to saying their Ps and Qs in social environments. Remember to make learning good manners fun! Even if it means getting ice cream involved.

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