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“Please” and “Thank You”

Shakin Bones Time…. Before the COVID 19 happening, I was invited to visit a preschool program. At snack time a young male child asked, “Can I have more milk?” the teacher responded with, “What is the magic word?” The young child paused, looked at the teacher and responded, “MOO”. The teacher said, “That is not the magic word, “please “is the magic word.” I thought the child’s response of “moo” was more magical.

Where did we get the idea that “please” and “thank you” are polite responses? Who made that decision? The topic of manners often comes up in my workshops. Adults want children to be more polite. Most children, according to Piaget, are egocentric. That means they often don’t recognize that others exist. Saying “Please” and “Thank you” is done for others not for themselves. Where did we get the idea that children who choose to use manners are better than children who choose not to? Manners do not make the person. So “Moo” to you….


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