When I was a child, my mother enforced good manners. Phone manners, table manners, pleasantry manners, you name it.
One of the ways she “made” us demonstrate good manners was by showing appreciation for someone. Her requirement was that when we had to thank someone, we needed to provide at least two sentences justifying our appreciation. For example, when we visited someone’s house we could not get away with saying “Thanks, and goodbye.” We had to say something like “Thank you for having me. The dirt dessert was delicious Mrs. Krouchick.” Or when were given a present we said something like, “Thank you for the gift. I can’t wait to play with it.”
It encouraged us to put thought into our words, and to be more genuine.
As all my siblings can attest, the funny thing about manners is that they start out being forced, but they become a way of life. So I have carried on the tradition and I am instructing my children in the “two sentence thank you.”
P.S. My sister recently told me that she makes her students give a two sentence apology. That’s something I’ll have to try too.