There is nothing better than witnessing your child use the manners that you have worked so hard to teach them; even more exciting when they do it without any reminders! Not only can you mentally give yourself a high-five, but other people might reward your child’s politeness too!
A few days ago my family and I were out shopping at a farmer’s market. As we perused, the cutest little lady was offering samples of oranges. She offered my kids two sections to try. My daughter, who is always extremely polite (thank you very much!) exclaimed, “Oh my gosh! Thank you so much! I really wanted an orange! Thank you!” You would have thought you handed her the keys to Disneyland. My son, hearing his sister say thank you gave his own little “ank-oo!” I was proud, to say the very least. The woman, so taken back by my daughter’s genuine delight and politeness, ended up giving us a free five pound bag of oranges. How awesome is that? Not only did I get to be proud, but my kids were rewarded by a complete stranger for the simple act of being polite- which of course, can mean the world to a little kid.
Being reinforced by someone other than mom and dad can be invaluable. It just goes to show that you can never be too polite, and it is never too early to teach your kids good manners. It was also quite refreshing to see good manners being appreciated. So many times you can say, “excuse me” or “thank you” and receive no response at all. After explaining to my daughter why she got free oranges, she has stepped up her thank you’s yet again. You never know how your kindness will be repaid.