Friday, February 17, 2012

10 Common Reasons Kids Should Say Thank You

Saying thank you is second nature to most people and we tend to take this simple expression of gratitude for granted. However, because it’s so common, a thank you left unsaid becomes a glaring omission. Parents who don’t teach their children to say thank you are doing a great disservice to their children. People think kids who don’t say thanks are just plain rude. Here are 10 common reasons you should teach your kids to say thank you.

  1. Manners – First of all, it’s just good manners to say thank you. Kids need to learn socially acceptable behavior early and have it reinforced throughout their childhood. Thank you should be two of the first words a child learns to say, after please of course.
  2. Respect – Saying thank you shows respect, especially to adults. Parents should teach their children that not showing gratitude is disrespectful and frowned upon by others.
  3. Show gratitude – Of course, a simple thanks shows gratitude and lets the giver know the gift is appreciated. Even the smallest gesture should be acknowledged when it’s given freely.
  4. Polite – Kids should learn how to be polite to others and saying thank you is part of that process. First you say please, then thank you, follow up with a your welcome and repeat often.
  5. Appreciated – People really appreciate it when kids say thank you and they notice when it’s omitted. When children are unable to express their appreciation for a gift in person, they should be encouraged to send thank you notes.
  6. Etiquette – Saying thank you is just part of proper etiquette that all parents should teach their children. They need to know what’s expected of them to get along in polite society and improper etiquette won’t get them very far.
  7. Good example – Kids who can give an unprompted thank you when it’s required are a good example to their peers and siblings. Politeness is contagious and should be generously shared as often as possible.
  8. Reflects well – When people observe children saying a polite thank you, it reflects well on their parents. On the other hand, when that simple gesture is omitted, it really reflects poorly. Most adults will wonder who’s raising this rude child.
  9. Shows maturity – Polite children appear much more mature than their rude peers and their more likely to gain respect from adults. Kids should be encouraged to say thank you by letting them know it’s the grown up thing to do.
  10. Good habits – Saying please and thank you are just good habits for kids to get into and it should become second nature to them. Repeated often enough, eventually they won’t need to be reminded.

When teaching your children to say please and thank you, be sure to lead by example. Kids learn best by imitation, so make a point of saying thank you to them as well. Since the words thank you can be difficult for toddlers who are just learning to talk, learning it in sign language first can be easier for them. It may become tedious to continually remind kids to say thank you, but eventually it will become second nature to them and they won’t need to be reminded. Giving your children a strong foundation in good manners will serve them well throughout their lives.

Taken From eNannySource


  1. As a former teacher and grandmother of nine, I would like to offer the following suggestion. I feel it’s important to learn good manners early. In a society full of bullying and self-centered children, it is helpful to teach your children the benefits of consideration for others and being polite. A book emphasizing good manners as well as the Golden Rule is The Magic Word by Sherrill S. Cannon. This book is a rhyming story of a little girl who was rude, selfish and demanding – and had very few friends. Her mother suggested that she needed to improve her manners; so when she went to school the next day, she thought of her mother’s advice, “What is the magic word?” and she started saying “Please” and also “Thank You”. She tried to become more thoughtful of others, and discovered that she was a much happier person. The repetitive use of the phrase “What is the magic word?” has children answering “Please”! One of the important lines in the story is “If you want to make friends, you must be polite and treat them the way that you know you would like”. That’s what the Golden Rule is all about!

  2. Mrs. Cannon,
    thank you so much for the good advice.