When my daughter was 24 years old she said to me ‘I have one complaint about how you and Dad raised me’. Oh, boy, I thought, what is coming next? She said ‘you taught us how to say thank you’ and that is the problem. Still not quite understanding her, she went on to explain that when you are raised to say thank you at all times, you always expect the same courtesy from others at all times.. and it doesn’t always happen and it can be very disappointing lesson in human behavior. How true! Not only are 5 and 6 year olds negligent about saying thank you, grown-ups can be guilty as well. Very few, if any of the Kindergartners or first graders that I have taught say ‘thank you’ when I hand them a paper, give them a sticker, give them a compliment or say anything that should be answered with the words thank you. 5 and 6 year olds can write thank you notes for gifts, even if it means that mom and dad write most of it and that they sound out what they can. Children should be taught to say thank you when something is given to them, when someone hands them something, when someone stoops to pick up something that he/she has dropped, when someone moves out of your way to let you by, when someone says “bless you” after a sneeze…the list could go on and on. Please demand that your child show you courtesy and respect by using the words thank you as often as possible and then perhaps that learned social skill will carry over to the classroom with teachers and classmates deserve the same respect.
Re-posted from 2009