I just read this great blog article at Swiss Army Wife and wanted to repost it here: Did You Use Your Manners? Just a teaser from the article:
Consider this, a child says “Mom, can I have some milk?”. Like a broken record in my mind I can hear a parent saying, “What’s the magic word?”. The child says “pweeeeez” and he gets some milk. Please is *not* a magic word. It’s no more a magic word than Abracadabra or A La Peanut Butter Sandwiches. (I know some might disagree, but stick with me here) Eventually, they will know it’s not magic and that it’s a lie. It’s not going to get them what they want every time no matter how sweetly they say it. It’s a lie, children know it, and they are going to get out of saying please whenever they can.
Heather's article is so well-written, I really urge you to read it. :) Now I'm going to go back and re-read it.