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When did your child start saying please and thank you?

(25 Posts)
Lovingmybabiesbottom Mon 15-Jul-13 07:49:00

My DS is almost 3. Ever since he began to try and speak, I have endlessly encouraged please and thank you.

But to no avail whatsoever. He has never once said please or thank you without being prompted, and I am becoming quite frustrated!

Any thoughts or advise?

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 07:53:45

DD has been saying 'ta' since she could speak, so around 10mo, but would be prompted til around 14mo. Once I knew she could say it, I wouldnt give her what she wanted without saying it. At 19mo she uses both Ta and "Tank Yoo" without prompting.

Please - she has only in the last six weeks or so learnt this word, but again, now I know she knows it, I prompt her every time. I either give her a "look" or ask "whats the magic word?" and she will say PLease.

I dont mind prompting her - eventually it will become second nature, but I expect a please for everything (milk please, up please, story please).

Once she doesnt need prompting anymore, im hope

MortifiedAdams Mon 15-Jul-13 07:54:07


Im hopibg I will lighten up a bit more.

ChunkyPickle Mon 15-Jul-13 08:03:45

DS at nearly three is very good about it - lots of thankyous (unless whatever it is is too exciting and he forgets) - pleases need reminding when he's just asking for something every-day like a drink, but are remembered when asking for something special like ice-cream smile

TBH I only really started prompting recently when I realised he was commanding me to get him juice - the rest just came from me/dp/mil etc. making sure we always said an exaggerated thankyou or please when receiving/asking for something.

We started with 'Ta' too (as a universal 'can I have that' or 'you take this' word) - which is probably why he's so much better with Thankyou than Please

HappyAsASandboy Mon 15-Jul-13 08:20:32

As soon as they could talk really. They were a bit confused by it at the beginning (saying Thank You as they gave me something, because that's what I say during that transaction!), but soon straightened it out.

At 2.5 years my DS is great at remembering please and thank you unless he is very tired (when he results to one word requests). His twin sister is far less reliance about it, but will say it with prompting and me occasionally withholding until she says it.

At age 3 years, I would explain the concept and then play hardball and insist on a please/thank you every time it is necessary. You also need to make sure you use please and thank you (great enthusiastic overblown ones!) every time anyone gives you something IMO.

worldgonecrazy Mon 15-Jul-13 08:26:45

DD is 3.5 and we still have to prompt her. She gets a lot of praise for doing it unprompted.

coffeewineandchocolate Mon 15-Jul-13 08:39:13

ta was one of his first words. he will consistently say please and thankyou unprompted now at 2.5

Dackyduddles Mon 15-Jul-13 08:42:59

Dd is 2.5. I get more thank you than pleases. Pleased tend to be more prompted. I guess adults too say TY more than Pls?

Relax a bit. It is I think more natural to take what you want and say thanks for something offered than request it so to speak. It will come with repetition exactly as you are doing. I certainly don't expect it from an under five but do from 5 plus.

MiaowTheCat Mon 15-Jul-13 08:44:41

DD1 doesn't say mama or anything yet - but will say "ta" as she pops up beside you and nicks your mobile phone off the arm of the sofa.

I appear to have raised a well-mannered thief.

SuperiorCat Mon 15-Jul-13 08:56:40

Straight off really. Even with speech delayed DS it was encouraged so now it is automatic. They are often complimented on their manners.

Dsis parents differently and the DNs never say it. I adore them but do feel like a skivvy when I look after them as they demand, rather than politely request things.

I'm not a hypocrite though as DH and I have always modelled please and thank you and general good manners. Still can't get DS to eat with his mouth closed mind...

Carolra Mon 15-Jul-13 09:07:49

DD's nursery taught her the sign language for Please and Thank You... she's 18mo now and does the sign for them both with prompting about half of the time (they are very similar, so we're not sure if she knows the difference) but she can't actually say the words... we're waiting to see whether she keeps it up once she can actually speak the words.

hardboiledpossum Mon 15-Jul-13 09:10:42

DS has a slight speech delay. He has said please since he was about 20 months, mostly unprompted. at 2.4 months he still does not say ta or thank you.

fairylightsinthespring Mon 15-Jul-13 09:12:47

DS is nearly 4 and says them all the time, usually unprompted, especially thank you. Has always been pretty good with it, since about 2.
DD is 2.2 and will always say them when prompted, (very cute "koo" for thank you for a while). I don;t think it matters if they are too young to know what it means, it needs to become so habitual that they don't need to think about it. I teach 11-18 and it is very obvious who has to consciously remember to say them and who just has an automatic response - some of them had "thank you for the lesson" ingrained into them at their prep school - I thought they were taking the piss when I first joined!! but it always makes me smile now.

MrsOakenshield Mon 15-Jul-13 09:16:48

DD is 3.5 and it's a bit hit and miss, better of thank yous at the mo. I don't make a big thing of it (unless it's accompanied by demanding behaviour and she's getting shirty and shouty), so if she says 'may I have some water?' i just repeat back 'may I have some water please?', whilst getting her some water. Dead pleased she says 'may' not 'can' though <chalet school pedant>.

MojitoMagnet Mon 15-Jul-13 09:19:37

DS (now nearly 4) started saying thankyou unprompted ages ago - couldn't say exactly when but probably age 2ish - I think this was due to a particular story book about saying thank you which they read quite often at Nursery but he just started doing it naturally and often for quite random things like "Thank you for my green T-shirt mummy!" when I get his clothes out.

Please is still developing. Lots and lots of "I want" demands which we are trying as a matter of policy to never respond to until he repeats them more politely. He only remembers unprompted about 20% of the time.

csmm Mon 15-Jul-13 09:19:46

DS is 7 and despite constant prompting for the past years still needs reminding most of the time. Clearly have failed in my manners training of my child...

Badgerwife Mon 15-Jul-13 09:38:49

My DD is nearly 2. She started using her version of thank you unprompted about 4 months ago; we've only just started to teach her how to say please, but I don't know that she fully understands what either of these words really mean yet, apart from they get her things more quickly. So she does need a lot of prompting.

MiaowTheCat Mon 15-Jul-13 12:38:18

I always love it when they can't quite figure out which is the appropriate word to use so use them both repeatedly "pees.. ta... pees" in the hope of hitting on the right one!

TinyTear Mon 15-Jul-13 13:20:00

My 17 month old says 'pleesh'

When she asks for Peppa pointing at the TV we ask her for the magic word, same when she wants more food or a certain book from the shelf... hopefully she will learn that saying 'pleesh' will get her some things more quickly than not saying

Lottapianos Mon 15-Jul-13 13:28:00

Don't prompt, just model it for him. I'm a speech and language therapist and parents are often anxious about their child saying (or not saying!) please and thank you. The thing is, these words are much harder to learn than others because they don't relate to anything tangible, they don't mean something in the way that 'cup' or 'teddy' or 'eat' or 'sleep' mean something. They are politeness markers and it's hard to learn when to use them.

So the usual rule applies - if you want your child to do something, then do it a lot yourself! Just model 'thank you' when you think it would be appropriate for him to say it, same with 'please'. Avoid saying 'what do we say DS?' or 'say thank you DS' - it sounds like he doesn't understand the concept fullly yet so show him how we use it. And don't worry, he will get there!

WaitakereWaif Mon 15-Jul-13 13:38:45

'pees' and 'tanku' at 18 months here.
I think mine learned pretty quickly because I was a mean mummy!! I started once I knew they could say some words (about a year old) and quickly moved to correcting if they said "dink" and not moving to make it until they said "dink pees". When I handed it over I held on to one handle until they said thank you.

That said .... 3 is still a baby smile the constant repetition will work in the end

MrsOakenshield Mon 15-Jul-13 14:32:58

mojito - urgh, 'I want'! Drives me and DH nuts. 'I would like'!!!

AdoraBell Mon 15-Jul-13 14:37:34

Mine started along with their other first words but now at preteen stage they seem to have forgotten!

I'm also struggling with the "I want' but that's because they spend their days speaking spanish and forget not to translate directly when they come home.

Lovingmybabiesbottom Mon 15-Jul-13 14:46:45

Thank you (no pun intended!) For your thoughtful and helpful responses.

It is odd, because dh and I are obsessive with please and thank you. It comes without ever thinking about it, hence why I am so keen for my boy to progress with this. He is so polite and thoughtful, but wow... Just once I would like him to prefix a request with a please. Just once!

PedantMarina Mon 15-Jul-13 14:54:43

Our DC (3 and a bit now) sometimes goes through phases where he doesn't remember to do it without prompting. At these times, DP and I then go through a phase where we put a 10 (or more) minute ban on anything he doesn't ask for properly first time.

Do this for a few days with DC and he'll start coming round.

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