The question is why use magic words on adults, when they should actually be taught to children? I’m sure you are probably wondering what magic words are anyway.
The magic words are Please, Excuse Me, Sorry, Thank you and Pardon Me.
I have found many parents failing in the aspect of manners and this is so because many of us don’t start teaching our kids early enough.
We are to teach our children manners as early as age 2, otherwise they will end up with manners that we are not proud of in future. When it comes to manners, some parents don’t know when to be disciplined and when to be lax. When someone observes that a two-year did not say ‘Thank You’ after receiving a candy, they simply say, “my kid is too small” or “that’s how she is some times” or “can you just let her be, I can’t stand her crying because I need to concentrate” etc.
Well, that is where a lot of parents miss it because as kids they are watching you, they are hearing and they are seeing everything. As parents, we must learn to appreciate, acknowledge, respect and understand a lot more.
Our kids are mainly what they are because of what we are. If as a parent, you do not use the magic words expect your kids to toe the line in some capacity.
The mental and psychological capacity of many people today stem from their ability or inability to say Thank You. Let’s examine this together. A child that acknowledges what the parents, teachers, uncle, aunties and even friends do and say ‘thank you’ have a higher chance if being very responsible in future than a kid who doesn’t.
In my life as a teacher, I have seen some kids say ‘thank you’ to their drivers when they are dropped off at school and I have seen others who just bang the door of the car and walk into school.
The kids that say ‘thank you’ are easy to handle by the teachers but those that don’t are often referred to as the ‘difficult’ pupil.
They believe they don’t owe anyone anything and they do not have to say ‘thank you’ because you helped them pick their book from the ground. They are always like, “I would have picked it up myself.”
The same applies to excuse me. Some kids see their parents talking to themselves or to guests and they simply jump into the conversation without saying excuse me. They want to walk past someone in a tight spot and they simply maneuver themselves, without muttering excuse.
You sure are not going to get sorry out of some kids. Ground them, deny them, punish them, they just won’t say sorry. They are adamant. In school, they say the kid is got an attitude.
And if you try to squeeze sorry out of them, they feel like they have been cheated, they feel like they lost, they feel like they have been defeated. Saying sorry is not just their thing and I often hear parents say, “Leave him, he doesn’t like to say sorry” or “he says sorry in a different way” and I’m like, what way?
I will tell you a short story of a young lady who never used the magic words growing up but she ended up regretting it.
This young lady lives with her mum but they never got along because her mum was always telling her to change her bad manners to people and situations she finds her self in. Sadly she would rather shout at her mother or work out on her, thinking she does not need anyone counselling her.
But on one beautiful day she woke up late going to work and was rushing out of the house, she did not greet her mum, instead she rushed past her grumbling that she was late and that her mum did not wake her up.
Given her attitude, she blamed everything on everyone but herself, her mum was however the number one recipient of the blames. But on this day, her mum was in the living room staring into to the air in serious pain, she could not even talk but her daughter because she was late and did not even care as usual, rushed out of the house not asking any question or even caring why she was usually silent today.
Unfortunately for the daughter, some few minutes after she got to the office, she gets a phone call from her mother’s doctor that she should come and check her mum in the hospital.
Sadly she never met her alive her mother was gone, she died. Sad story you would say but a lot of people have missed loved ones, friends, great opportunity because of malice, anger, jealousy, envy, hatred.
I put it to you all, using the magic words with a sweet smile works wonders. Teach it to our kids, they will grow up to be better children, who in turn will be parents someday. That’s your own contribution to making this world a better place. Thanks and expecting your contributions
Madame Buky Olieh is an educator, child psychologist and French tutor. She wrote from New York, US
You can reach her via email: firstname.lastname@example.org