This study discusses two Mandarin-speaking children’s linguistic politeness through longitudinally observing their uses of request forms with regard to different
interactional situations where their interpersonal status may vary accordingly. It seems that the children demonstrate a systematic correspondence between request
forms and directness to adhere to politeness at an early age. Although they apparently prefer to utilize comparatively more direct request forms most of the time,
a closer investigation reveals a division of labor: they appear to use simple imperatives when their interpersonal status is either superior or equal to their parents and
use declaratives with the lexeme WANT when their interpersonal status is inferior. It is therefore suggested that politeness may be mutually negotiated between
interlocutors and that children should get socialized with politeness through interaction with adults or other children within various social or interpersonal relationships.