I truly, truly believe that children should not be forced or reminded to say hello, thank you, sorry, and goodbye. It is learned over time through modeling by the adults and older children around them. This is at odds with how many adults think manners need to be drilled into children by toddlerhood. They think it is rude to not say hello and goodbye to people (be it strangers or family and close friends) and don’t want to be considered a bad parent for not forcing these behaviors.
The thing is, these are behaviors, learned behaviors, and we want them to have it be second nature to say thank you to the waitress or apologize when they accidentally bump someone as an adult. That takes time and intrinsic motivation to develop, not repetitive shaming before they even understand the importance of these customs in our society.
I try to invite Wallace to greet people or hug a friend or someone close to us, but I never force the matter. I asked him once, privately, if he wanted to say thank you to Gramma for the presents, which he chose to do and gave her a hug too. I don’t like people calling him shy when he doesn’t feel like talking to new people. It is totally normal and calling him shy feels shaming.
He started saying thank you all on his own shorty after learning to say bye. He now says “thanks much!” everytime I do something for him. He just learned no thank you by hearing Grandpa say it. Now he is playing around with it and retelling the story of when I offered Grandpa scrambled eggs and he said “no thank you.” I’m hoping the trend continues!
Here is Janet Lansbury’s view on this, which I read after writing my post.