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  1. Just a general thank you, Monica. I have 3 boys younger than yours, and I so look forward to my two days off each week when I can read your blog while I eat my breakfast. You inspire me to do better, and when I try to be intentional, parenting (and marriage) is so much more FUN!!!

    Greetings from cold, gray Michigan, and blessings to you!

    1. Oh Becky, thank you so much. That really means a lot to me and I do love the idea of having breakfast with you and bringing a little sunshine to your days. Keep up the great work and thank you for taking the time to comment! Aloha! 🙂 Also: Yay for three boys!!!

  2. Really great article. Our son is 14 months and starting to catch on to a lot of things but we also don’t expect too much out of him, yet. This is all great to remember as he grows. Thanks!

  3. Love this! It looks like this every day in our house because my youngest has autism (Aspergers, if they were still diagnosing that) and he has to be prepared for EVERYTHING. I never thought about practicing “manners” but really that’s exactly what we were doing! No wonder so many people think my oldest has such excellent manners – so much practice 😉 Of course the hard part of living with autism is that it is impossible to predict, plan, and practice for every situation that could possibly arise. And when those unexpected ones hit, we’re the family dragging our screaming 8 year old out of the store/restaurant/party that you are politely pretending to not see.

    But let me be the first to agree: practicing works! It sounds (and sometimes feels) a little stupid but that first time that something happens that you prepared your kids for and they react well? It’s not JUST that you feel like a million bucks and winner of parent of the year. The kiddos are so much more comfortable and confident. Double score!

    1. THANK YOU Becka!! What a great example and I love that you are already doing the practicing! Oh I have so much admiration for you–bless you! I imagine life is never dull there…:) Thanks for the examples and I promise I’m cheering for you if I were the one seeing you out and about!! Aloha!

  4. I am extremely proud of my children’s manners, especially when others notice and comment. I make sure to relay the praise to my children, if they weren’t there to hear it, and explain that why I am so proud of them. Currently we are moving to the next level with my sons- trying to help them join in the conversation when appropriate. Sometimes they are sitting quietly around the table , but appear bored. I’m working on teaching them that joining the conversation is another way to show good manners and welcome others into our home. My youngest still whispers things into my ear that he wants me to say. I think he is old enough to politely join in.
    As a teacher, I am always impressed with the students who say please, thank you, and excuse me on a regular basis. We started with the simple rule of saying thank you every single time ANYONE hands you ANYTHING and moved on from there. It worked, so far…

    1. SO GOOD Shannon! Thank you for commenting! Love all of that. Well done. 🙂

  5. Thanks Monica! Great article – one for us to remember when Anita is a little older!

    1. Of course Elaine–My pleasure….And I’m not sure if I have officially congratulated you on Anita! So exciting and you will do a great job raising her with wonderful manners I am sure. 😉 XO

  6. Oh my, this is a good one. I must say the ‘practice’ part is the least liked. To be honest, I hated taking my kids out with me to dinner, movie, or places they had to be ‘quiet’ or sit still. My oldest two kids were rather tame. It’s my youngest two that like to ‘play’ at the table, goof off, say jokes etc. It makes going out with them more work for me than I’d like. We still take them out, but I am seriously considering finding a live class to take them to. Thanks for sharing, great post.

  7. Love this Monica! So important! If I made add the benefit of parents modeling the behaviors we want to see in our kiddos. Please and thank you goes a ling way even when setting limits😄. Havea great day!!

    1. super good point, Kelli –thank you for adding. Indeed–modeling is probably the most important thing we can do. Much aloha and have a great weekend! 🙂