At this age, your child may not be able to say “Please” and “Thank you,” but it's still important for you to model good behavior for him. If you speak to him as politely as you would to other children and adults, those words will become part of his speech habits. Ask nicely and with respect when you want your child to give you a toy or to help clean up, and then thank him when he does as requested. This will show him how you expect him to behave toward others.
You might also want to consider how you would like your child to address other adults. Will it be Ms. Smith or Ms. Alice? Do you want him to say “Yes, ma'am” and “No, sir”? Or do you live in a more casual world where first names are fine for grownups? Consider, too, asking the preference of the adults involved.
Hello, Goodbye, Please, and Thank You
Babies start to wave bye-bye between eight and twelve months, but at this point they are more mimicking your motions than using the wave as a means of communication. Nevertheless, most parents encourage their children to say “Hello,” “Goodbye,” and other niceties. However, don't expect it of your one-year-old, and don't be surprised if he doesn't do as you ask right away. You can also try saying it for him, such as, “Peter had a lovely time here today, Paula, thank you so much for the cookies.” Eventually, he'll make eye contact with the person and feel more comfortable using the words himself.
“Modeling” is the word development experts use to describe what parents and caregivers do to demonstrate how they would like children to behave. A lot of this behavior is unconscious — how many of us think about the way we speak from moment to moment? But when a one-year-old is watching you, you need to model the kind of behavior you want to see in him later on.
Waiting Is the Impossible Part
In order to get your child used to waiting and being patient, you must do two things. First, after your child has successfully managed to be even a little bit patient, be sure to ask her about what she wants to show you or tell you. She needs to know that you aren't ignoring her. Second, thank her for waiting (even if she really didn't wait that long).