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when do kids start saying thank you

I have trained my kids (6 and 4) to say please and thank you for the common things (someone brings them a drink or holds the door open for them) but it does not occur to them to say thank you for big things (I take the day off from work and do something special with them). I feel weird saying "Now thank ME for taking YOU on this special trip"). Does this just naturally happen or does this need to be taught.


Asked by Anonymous at 8:18 AM on Jul. 25, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • I dont think kids see that as a gift just yet. They just think mommy wants to spend the day with them & they feel special.. It makes them feel good & boost their self esteem.. They dont see that the fun stuff takes money & time we really dont have .....
    For non-gifts id have to say it probley wont naturally happy until their teens or their adult hood when they look back & see how great you made their childhood.
    You could always encourage a thank you by thanking them for going with you. thank them for cuddling with you. or spending time with you.. ask them if they enjoyed the fun & want to do it again. . I think sometimes you just have to take the excitement & WOW THAT FUN! as the thank you.

    Answer by MommaTasha1003 at 9:40 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • I have the opposite problem. I try so hard to get my son to say thank you for the simple things. I have to remind him constantly. However, he will tell me thank you for doing this for me mommy, or thank you for taking me here, etc. I guess it is just going to take a lot of reminding before it finally clicks. For your situation, I would just talk with them and remind them that if someone does something for them (whether it be you, a family member, or a friend) that they need to thank them for it no matter how big or small and then give them examples such as when mommy takes you to such and such place.


    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:31 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • It doesn't naturally happen and stuff. I don't teach my kids to say thank you about that but I do tell them to be thankful that they are lucky. That some kids aren't as fortunate. Etc. I don't think they say thank you. My kids say "I love you mommy" out of the blue and to me that's a thank you.

    Answer by mschanng at 8:34 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • my little girl is three and she does. i started it when she was about to. everytime she game me something or i'd give her something i'd say thankyou. and it just rubbed off on her

    Answer by rose549 at 8:43 AM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • When they are saying to you "mommy this was the best day ever!"....that's your thank you. They don't realize that you did something special that was just for them, yet. Hopefully it was just as much fun for you as it was for them, then it doesn't become just a favor you did for's a family fun day. You can teach them that special days deserve a thank you too by saying to them, "Thank you guys for being good and making this a wonderful day". That might trigger them to throw their arms around you and say "thank you for taking us to the....".

    Answer by slw123 at 12:02 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • LOL in writing this Im seeing that I need to work on this myself.........will start working on appreciating the little things from now on :).

    I think its a taught/learned concept. Kids learn best with manners by example. Have you thanked your kids lately for having a extra good behavior day? Even little things like snuggling with you. Things that are out of the norm for thank you's?


    Answer by mistynights234 at 12:27 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • You can ask "did you guys have fun?" then when they sa yes, you can say "well I think I deserve a big thank you for that!" then give them hugs or something.

    Answer by stickyfingers at 12:34 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

  • I agree with pp. Ask them how they enjoyed it. They will probably then realize a thank you is in order. I know as an adult I sometimes forget. They may be so wrapped into what they did it is probably just a matter of forgetting. I think that if they also show you by talking about what they did that to me is their way of saying thank you.

    Answer by robinsi2000 at 1:28 PM on Jul. 25, 2009