Help please?

We’ve been working on manners for months.

Michael almost has them down but Miles has some more work to do.

We’ve started with the basics, “please” and “thank you.” Actually, the please one came quickly and easily. In order to avoid the crying and tantrums whenever Miles needed help with something I taught him, “Help please.” And that’s a phrase he’s had down for several months.

When his trains wouldn’t connect he would run to me or Michael desperately saying, “Help please.” As long as we aided him quickly enough it avoided any messy meltdowns. We are still working on mastering the skill of patience.

And so “please” came a little easier. “Thank you” wasn’t much harder. I’m still not certain he gets it though as he says “thank you” in response to many things. But he certainly says it, to the dog, the to couch, to his trains and to Thomas on the television.

Recently he’s started responded with, “Thank you very uch.” That’s not a typo, he just doesn’t seem to get the “m” in there yet. It’s pretty cute and sweet. It seems as if they “Thank you very uch”s are the ones where he really gets the meaning of “thank you.”

But as quickly and easily as those “please” and “thank you”s came, it seems as though he can just as quickly forget (or perhaps refuses) to use them. Just the other day he was demanding something in a not very nice tone or way. I asked him to ask nicely but the stubborn little guy REFUSED.

It was a showdown. I won, if by win you mean had to endure a stomping, screaming fit. But I wanted Miles to realize that asking nicely for things is important.

Manners in my household growing up were VERY important. My mom and dad ran far from a military-formal/strict household but we certainly were taught to be polite. And Michael was raised in the south. He still “mams” and “sirs” everyone as well as address them with courtesy titles.

What are you manner strategies? Is it a battle you find worth fighting?

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