The Art of Saying Please and Thank You
When I was little, my parents instilled in me the habit of saying "please" and "thank you" in a number of situations. It was polite, and if I didn’t include the word, I got “the look” and a whispered reminder to say the word(s) I’d omitted. As I got older, the habit actually started to mean something. No little girl wants to get a brown and orange plaid sweater from their aunt when they were hoping for a Shaun Cassidy poster (I was born in the early 70s). This gets a forced "thank you." However, when I got the poster from another relative, they got the "Thank you!" accompanied by a big smile and a sincere hug.
We’ve likely all been there. My husband and I have passed along the politeness trend to my two daughters. In their later teenage years, they now get it. I get the eye-roll at the holidays or in any situation if I ask if they remembered to thank the person who gave them a gift or helped them. However, I’d rather have them annoyed at my making sure they were polite than to have them wonder why they should say please or thank you.