Monday, September 12, 2011

Saying Please and Thank You

This fall we're focused on a few book titles that teach manners and gratefulness. I'll be highlighting some as we progress through the holiday season so be prepared to see a few more as time goes by. I think our kids are old enough to grasp the idea of gratitude and they are definitely old enough to be expressing it on a consistent basis. (Don't read this wrong - we've been teaching them to express gratitude. We're just focusing on it more heavily this particular holiday season. The holidays typically provide ample opportunity to practice!)

When I saw these new releases from Kane Miller, I thought they were worth looking into and I was glad to have done so.

I Can Say Please , by Tamsin Ainslie, introduces us to a little girl and her friends, a rabbit and cat, who are learning how to say "the magic word." In a simple sentence the young reader is called to think about the idea of saying "please" to getting to do a special activity, offering and/or asking for help in doing something, or receiving and eating a tasty treat. This is a very basic introduction on the one hand, and on the other the manner in which the prompt to say "please" is presented in such a way that probably will provoke the old and young reader to discussion. For example, some of the sentences are as follows:

"Shall we eat now?"
"Yes, please."

This book isn't all about using The Pleasant Word merely as a tool to receive something in exchange for the word's usage. Rather, it is to promote polite behavior and conversation. I rather like it as a result.

I Can Say Thank You, also Ainslie is a very short, brief introduction to the idea of making a grateful declaration of thanks when it is due. It pictures the same little girl in adorable pigtails learning to say thank you to others for things like playing with her, giving and receiving compliments, receiving gifts, and sharing. Each page spread offers encouragement to say this little phrase for very basic acts of kindness. There is only one sentence per page, followed by the coveted phrase.

This particular book is much more straight forward in teaching the child to offer thanks for a variety of things and, as such, is a very useful tool.

I have been positively amazed of late at how few young children speak, not only to other children but to adults in an unkind, ungracious and disrespectful manner. Perhaps I am more acutely aware of society's lack of good manners now that I'm trying to teach them to my own children. At any rate, books like these are welcomed in our household and I would like to think that they would be hastily and enthusiastically utilized by other parents as well. Society could stand some good manners. Not just for manner's sake but because we ought to be treating others as we would like to be treated and so it's a no brainer that we should practice learning to speak to other people in a respectful manner.

I'm very grateful to Kane Miller for shooting copies of these two titles my way. I plan to make plenty good use of them, particularly in the months ahead as we drill our pleases and thank yous into little minds and hearts. And perhaps into the big minds and hearts as well!


BerlinerinPoet said...

Have you seen the "What Do You Say, Dear" and "What Do You Do, Dear" books? Those are just adorable.

Carrie said...

Yes! We have those as well and I really like them also.

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