November 15, 2012

Those Magical Words……… Please and Thank You

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Aaah, the good old days, when gentlemen opened doors for ladies and children were seen but not heard. Those times are probably gone forever — and not much-missed by most — but good manners are timeless. When I was young I was taught to say “Please” and “Thank You”. However, nowadays, I feel the use of those words is becoming extinct in a great part of our society.

Have you noticed that children aren’t much on manners these days?  We may be witnessing a lack of manners because parents are consumed with the very complicated business of making ends meet, taking children to their many activities, working with their kids to do well in school, and also working on their marriage.



With so much activity and responsibility, parents may not have time to teach their kids etiquette.  All too often we get caught up in the world with our busy lives. It’s easy to forget the simplicities in life, like saying please and thank you. These days we have a lot on our minds yet, three simple words can improve the world we live in; if we incorporate them into our daily lives.

When your child asks you for something, as parents we are always conscious to teach them the correct manners and will always remind them to say the magic words “please and thank you” if they have forgotten to use them. Saying these words costs nothing but the impact they can have can alter the way we interact with others and more importantly how others perceive us. That’s why they are referred to as “magic”



In today’s world where life has become so busy, these two little words seem to be used less frequently. People are too busy rushing around and seem to think only of themselves and the things they have to do. By pausing just for a moment to say these magic words you may just brighten up someone’s day and give them a feeling of value. As we stated before, these words cost nothing to say but their impact can be huge.

We aren’t necessarily born polite and considerate, and even though acting in such a way tends to make people feel good, using “manner words” isn’t always second nature. However, being courteous is not only the right thing to do, it also makes life easier. Do yourself, your children and society a huge favor – put in a little effort now so everyone reaps the benefits later.

Land Of Nod: Design for Kids and People That Used to be Kids

How can “thank you” change a life?

If you live a life of saying thank you with a smile or the words, then you could change the world. A simple smile can ripple around the city. Saying thank you with a heart of gratitude can change a life. By saying thank you and meaning it, you could change a very bad day into a day of joy.

What is so powerful about an attitude of gratitude?

By expressing your gratitude to someone who helped you, you are doing more than saying a basic thank you. You are sharing a bit of your heart. For the person receiving that gift from you, they notice, even if nothing happens that day.

Can “Thank You” change tomorrow?

The bit of gratitude from the heart will weigh on the heart of the person gifted with it. One day they will question why your “thank you” was so different, why your attitude was so powerful. Once they realize why, a life will be changed.

We teach children from a young age about these words so why when we are adults do we sometimes forget to use them? Using these words demonstrates respect for you and those around you. We send cards to say thank you for gifts and for other special occasions which requires much more effort than simply speaking the words.

As your child gets older, it will be up to you to continue what you have started. It is important to be consistent with the messages you are trying to send about manners. For that reason, you should begin to demand appropriate use of the words whenever necessary.

If your child asks for something and does not say please, then remind them to. You can tell them to use the magic words or ask them what do we say.

Either way, don’t let your child off the hook. The same goes for saying thank you. Your child is young and they will forget from time to time. It is up to you to help them remember. If you can do that, you will have succeeded in teaching your child their first and most important manners.

Please & thanks, all over the world!

“Please” and “thank you” are used in languages and countries all over the world! Do you know how to say either one of these things in another language? Here are a few you can try…

Spanish: Please = Por favor. Thank you = Gracias.

French: Please = S’il vous plait. Thank you = Merci.

German: Please = Bitte. Thank you = Danke.

Italian: Please = Per favore. Thank you = Grazie.

Hebrew: Please = Bevakasha. Thank you = Todah.

Zulu: Please = Jabulisa. Thank you = Ngiyabonga

Saying Thank You is such a simple act of kindness in acknowledging respect to the person who is helping you. When someone takes the time to utter these words, which can be found in every language across the globe, it literally can change one’s whole perspective on others. Thank Yous are about learning to put someone’s needs ahead of your own.

It’s about teaching your children to show graciousness and compassion. But most importantly saying or even writing these words show that you appreciate them as they are without any strings attached.

The power of saying “thank you” is a gift you give others and yourself in return.


So, how often do you say thank you? Do you say thank you only to those you love, those you wish to impress or judge to be important? Or do you liberally sprinkle your daily interactions with these two golden words?  
How often have you felt bad because you forgot to say thank you, or didn’t take a moment to thank someone properly?
And how often have you felt resentful or cross when someone else failed to say thank you to you? ‘They could have at least said thank you!’, you think. Or, ‘how rude! She didn’t even bother to say thank you!’
Well, the fact is that ‘thank you’ has something truly magic about it. Like sorry, it’s just words, but they act as shorthand for so much more. Thank you shows our appreciation and conveys our gratitude. But more than that, it is a sign of respect to the person who has helped you (or given you something).
It is an indication you do not take them for granted, and an acknowledgement that they matter. And that is why saying thank you matters.

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If you are not familiar with the premise of the Novel  The Help , it is basically about a young journalist in Mississippi in the early 1960’s who elicits the help of the black women who work for the white families in the Jackson area to guide her in writing a book about their lives and the trials they faced working for these families.
As I was reading this book, there was a meaningful message about half way through that truly touched my heart. It was when Skeeter, the journalist, was interviewing, Callie, a helper who cared for a white family who always made her feel less than adequate.
She never felt appreciated during her tenure, however that all changed when the matriarch of the family passed away.As Callie recounts the story to Skeeter, when Miss Margaret passed away, she was given a note by Miss Margaret’s husband thanking her for taking care of her baby with colic years earlier.
This scenario had happened many years before her passing, but she wanted Callie to know that she never forgot.
There is a line that Ms. Stockett wrote following this exchange that truly pulled at my heart and it reads, “saying thank you, when you really mean it when you remember what someone done for you—it’s so good.”

So, today when you are going about your business, make a note to yourself to say please and thank you. Start today to use these words. Whether you are buying something in a shop, asking for directions or requesting some information remind yourself to say please and thank you to anyone who has offered you some kind of service today.
After a while these words will become habit and as well as having a positive impact on how you relate to others, you yourself will feel so much better.
“Make it a habit to tell people thank you. To express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. Truly appreciate those around you, and you’ll soon find many others around you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it.” ~ Ralph Martson

Just remember Rome was not built in a day and children will not learn manners overnight. Keep steady and consistent and your child will surely be saying please and thank you in no time at all.

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