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Saying please and thank you

(46 Posts)
OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 10:04:16

My just turned 3 year old dd won't say please or thank you. It's become a battle of wills, she's so stubborn. Is she too young to make an issue of this or should I stick to my guns. She's currently sobbing as I won't give her a biscuit because she won't say please.

Feel a bit torn on best course of action. Dh thinks just leave it for a couple of weeks as it has turned into a bit of an issue.

Blueuggboots Thu 13-Feb-14 10:14:33

My son turns 3 next week. He knows to say please and thank you and doesn't get what he wants unless he says them unless he's asking for a giraffe or a bomb and then I still say no obviously
no offence to giraffes

jessjessjess Thu 13-Feb-14 10:16:08

I would stick to your guns very calmly: are you sure you don't want to ask properly please, what a shame. Then no further comment.

UriGeller Thu 13-Feb-14 10:20:39

Keep at it. Say please and thankyou amongst yourselves to show its just what you do. I do end up saying "thankyou" "thankyou" "THANKYOU" at my ds who is the same age. He's getting it. Slowly. But sometimes says, "thank-poo" instead which is of course, hilarious hmm

There's nothing wrong with sounding like a stuck record, I think the worst thing you can do (if manners are important to you) is to shrug and give up.

Only1scoop Thu 13-Feb-14 10:22:15

Not to young at all. Stick at it.

OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 10:37:27

She's still sobbing. It's breaking my heart. She wants a cuddle.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 13-Feb-14 10:40:00

My children always say please and thankyou but I have not "taught " them per se.

I think if we model using these words regualrly then our children will use them to. Even saying it for them if they are very young as a gentle reminder.
I would never get to the stage of tears over something like this.
I have teenagers who never fail to thank me for cooking them a meal or giving them a pile of laundred clothes.

OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 10:51:13

My boys are fine, just did it.

Dd has a problem if I ask her to do something she won't, stubborn doesn't even come close.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Feb-14 10:53:44

Unless you say please and thank you then how can you expect her to? I realised that we didn't do it that much so started making a point of being extra polite to each other and DS. It paid off as he is very polite and we rarely have to prompt.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Feb-14 10:54:37

Give her a bloody cuddle! You're making it into an unnecessary battle.

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 13-Feb-14 10:55:44

Agreed Greathunt.

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Thu 13-Feb-14 11:00:35

Give her a cuddle but nit the biscuit. 3 is not too young, but obviously cuddles don't have to be asked for. My kuds don't get things they want but don't need unless they say please... they also have to ask in English (they speak German outside the house) if asking me for something they don't need - I enforce both rules with my nearly 3 year old as well as my older kids.

TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Feb-14 11:03:20

Give her a bloody cuddle! You're making it into an unnecessary battle.

OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 11:10:37

Cuddle given a while ago.

We all say please and thank you all the time in this house.

If I give her a drink of water for eg I would expect a thank you, is that too much to ask at this age? I can hardly not give her any food or drink because of this. As soon as I ask/remind her to say it she absolutely won't!

I don't want her to be seen as a rude, ungrateful child which another year she will be. I suppose she gets away with it at this age as young/shy etc but she isn't shy she's just stubborn.

laughingeyes2013 Thu 13-Feb-14 11:18:48

The tears are a clever tool to twist you around the little finger I'm afraid! It's not necessarily a calculated decision but more of a learned behaviour (when I cry, my Mum isn't sure of herself anymore and I might get what I think is rightfully mine).

Aged 3 is definitely not too young. The longer you leave it the more entrenched the behaviour will be.

But it's ok to give a cuddle without giving in. Treat the two as separate issues altogether if you can. And stick to your guns!

UriGeller Thu 13-Feb-14 11:21:34

You said it. You expect a thankyou. This isn't unreasonable at that age. Admire her strong will and stubbornness, it'll make her a strong person, but it doesn't mean she can be rude and not say please and thankyou!

Deliaskis Thu 13-Feb-14 11:29:33

DD is just turned 3 and is pretty good at saying please and thank you, so on that basis I would say it's not to much to expect. If she says 'I want' I say she'll have to ask for it nicely, then she turns on the fluttering eyelashes 'please Mummy please can I have a biscuit please'!

She doesn't get what she wants if she doesn't ask nicely.

She's also quite stubborn, but we tend to do better if we acknowledge how she's feeling, even if it is unreasonable (of her). E.g. 'I know you're cross with Mummy, are you cross because of x?' Then a bit of sympathy, 'yes I know sometimes I feel cross too...' etc. And we then usually get what we need by playing on the 'are you a big girl, because big girls are really good at y', etc.

Or can you turn it into a game so she will end up laughing and break the cycle of stubbornness, like asking her to say 'please' in a really funny pleading way 'oh pleeeeeeeaaaaaase DD say please because I really want you to have this biscuit, pleeeeeeeeease' etc. Or maybe there's a please & thank you song somewhere or you could make one up.

Also, and I'm sure the answer to this is yes, but do you say please and thank you to her directly? Not just to others in the house? E.g. make sure if she gives you her empty cup/plate or gives you a cuddle or if you want her to do something, that you also say thank you/please etc. as relevant. Sure you already do this, but sometimes people are going so mad modelling good behaviour in front of the DC, they forget to use it with the DC themselves!


OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 11:30:25

How do I get her to say it? I really don't know.

She just passed me the clothes to go on the airer one at a time. Every time she passed me something I asked her what I should say, she thought before she spoke and realised it was ok for her to say the words "thank you" as it wasn't actually her saying it, she was telling me what I needed to say.

I realise this sounds quite advanced thinking for a 3 year old but she is this way about a lot of things.

If I offer her 2 options for something I can see her little brain trying to think of a third option I haven't given!

She's a wonderful, happy, funny girl it's not all negative I promise.

OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 11:33:12

We do use p and ty all the time.

Funny voices don't work, explaining doesn't work. I've told her that her brothers, characters from progs say it, it doesn't make a jot of difference.

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Thu 13-Feb-14 11:36:02

A 3 year old can certainly be that sophisticated - my DD wasn't fooled by the 'illusion of free choice' of being offered 2 options at 3 either grin I would work on please as its wasier to crack - no treat unless you say please, so she'll be drinking water and eating meals and fruit but not getting treat type snacks til she asks politely... explain that to her, as she sounds fully zble to understand, then stop labouring the pount, stick to the rule but shrug it off and distract/ do something else if she's trying to make it a battle.

OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 11:41:59

Ok water and no snacks. If she says please then squash and treats.

I'm doing it!

OneToThree Thu 13-Feb-14 11:50:36

I can hear her playing with her dolls, telling them they must say please and thank you. You've got to laugh.

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Thu 13-Feb-14 11:52:52

Good luck smile Don't make a big deal of it, kust change the subject if she doesn't ssy please.

MrTumblesBavarianFanbase Thu 13-Feb-14 11:53:20


TheGreatHunt Thu 13-Feb-14 13:36:28

Tell her to ask nicely?

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