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Manners (also in BID 08)

Abby is now 16 months old and is starting to say a few words (mainly animals image ). For the last couple of months I've been saying "Say Ta" when giving her something she likes but have not been pushing the point. Over the last week or so she will occasionally say "ta" in return and I was really pleased. However when I picked her up from nursery this evening I was challenged and told that her manners weren't good, she never said "Ta" or "thank you" and was very stubborn over it. I was then asked if I ever asked her to say "ta".

Now I was just starting to be pleased that she was saying "Ta" every now and again. Is she slow in starting to do this? Is my daughter the rudest child around? Am I negletting her future manners?

I feel really chastened over this, especially as she has only just got over hitting the other children. Obviously I want her to be polite but I feel that she is still quite young and I can't really tell whether she is being stubborn when not saying "ta" or is actually struggling with the word. Is 16 months too young to expect her to do this?

Thanks for your help,
H xx


  • I don't know whether 16 months is too young, but my son certainly wasn't saying Ta at 16 months. It was really about 17-18 months that his talking started to take off, and by that I mean he started saying more than Mama,Dada and Hiya - but now at 21 months he will try to say anything, and does consistently say please and Ta (probably since about 19 months) and I've had comments on how good his manners are.
    I don't think your daughter is rude (unless she's snatching, for example), or that you are neglecting her manners - do keep asking her to say Ta, and saying it when she gives you something, it'll come in its own time. I really don't see that she can be the only 16 month old in the nursery who doesn't really say Ta yet.

    Oh, and possibly sometimes she might be being stubborn - but she's a toddler!
  • When my lo was the same age as yours he was playing with his toys and Mum kept making him say Please otherwise she hid the toy and wouldnt let him have it!! Poor child was getting really frustrated! I don't think it's possible for toddlers to be rude unless they are fighting, snatching, throwing etc ........ we've never enforced manners with my lo, he sometimes says please and ta but not always, at the end of the day I'm going to give him his food, drinks and toys whether he says it or not!!! As long as he doesnt snatch or is whiny with what he's given him not fussed. Lol he's nearly 2 now xx
  • When my little guy was the same age as your lo he didn't understand thankyou ( I hate 'ta' - it sounds horrid so its always been thankyou in our house) but we mainly worked on please. Once they have been given something they don't understand why they should say something I figure so please is easier cause then they don't get till they ask.

    That sounds a bit harsh I know and I wasn't that harsh with him - I just used to say 'juice please' to him or whatever when he asked for something - not that he had very many words at that time - but by the time he was 18 months old and he'd got the hang of please he had to say it before he got something.

    He got the hang of thankyou (which turned into thanks really) by about 20 months and now at...umm... 28 months he says please & thankyou very well and he even mostly says pardon me when he farts or burps, and says move please when you are in his way (we had confusion with excuse me so I've left that one)

    I'd have been furious with nursery if they'd said that to me - at that age you can only try and get them to say words and they don't always understand - whether its manners or other things and tbh imo if you've got your lo off hitting other kids tehn thats way more important than manners at her age.

  • I think its wrong of them to say that to you. Erin didn't say thankyou please until 18-19months. I always said ta when i gave her something as if to say you should say ta. So then she would come and give you something and say ta, i totally confused the poor child and gave up and we just made and extra effort to be polite to oneother in the house p's and q's and erin picked that up much better.

    You really have nothing to worry about i dont think its possible for a 16month old to be rude,

    I would not be happy with them if i were you

    x x x
  • No, I don't think you have anything to worry about! Saying ta sometimes at 16mths sounds good to me!

    I think sometimes staff at nurseries and preschools can forget how different they are at different ages, and how language can advance so suddenly and quickly around 18mths and 2yrs.

    When my ds was 2.5 and started a couple of sessions of pre-school, they told me they took special care of their '2yr olds' and they had a list on the wall "Our 2yr olds are: blah blah blah" with a list of all their names.

    But then they kept mentioning things to me that they didn't think he was understanding enough - and that lots of the other children were far more confident than him - well of course they were - loads of them were 4 yrs old!!!!!!

    Try not to let it upset you - I ended up delaying ds preschool until 3 in the end - and he settled in much better (although obviously this may not be a choice for you).

  • I think that's ridiculous that they expect a 16month old to be able to say Ta or thank you and that they had the nerve to insinuate that it was your fault. It sounds like you are doing a beautiful job of teaching her without heaping lots of pressure on and the fact that she even says it on occasion is brilliant. My lo is 15 months and has literally just started saying thank you (comes out as Aah ooh) and I don't think he fully understands when he should say it and why (and nor would I expect him to at that age). I'd just ignore them and keep doing what you are doing already. x
  • I can't remember when my lo started to say thankyou but I wouldn't force it. I would probably ask say thankyou or ta just out of routine say that eventually one day she'll just pick it up.
  • I think Abby sounds like she is doing perfectly well for 16 months.

    Archie now 18 months and we are getting a new word every day. But at that age he only said ta or peas (please) on occassion. And even now he doesn't always say it.

    I think your nursery are being a bit ridiculous to be honest. I'm just reading through Toddler Taming just now and one of the things he mentions is that toddlers have no sense of adult values. I would include manners as one of those things.
    At this age it's not manners she is learning, she has no real concept of what it means. She just knows that she is expected to say it and that will only happen with repitition. So keep doing what you are doing and eventually she will say it more often. S x
  • my dd is almost 15 months and she can say ta however she chooses when she says it and she often says it to us if she wants a biscuit but she very very rarely says it to anyone else takes alot for her to say anything to anyone else so i think you nursery are being a bit harsh on your lo ...16 months gees i dont expect them to say ta or thank you till there at least 2! xxx
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