Teaching "Please"

teaching please

Manners matter!

As parents we want to raise polite children, however, should "please" really be one of the first words that we are modelling to our children who are learning to talk?

I've often seen parents respond to their toddler who is pointing to a toy they want by saying "say please" and then giving them the toy. The tricky thing here is that children can use "please" and pointing to get a range of things in place of learning the vocabulary (names) for all those different objects.

A more effective way to approach that teaching opportunity might be to say "Car? You want the car?". In that scenario I've modeled (shown an example of) more specific vocabulary. This is more helpful for developing their language skills at this early stage.

If teaching manners is still really important for you at this point, then modelling "ta" or "thank you" after giving the toy is another way to go.