As my boy approaches the ripe old age of 8, he's been engaged in steady self-improvement. He uses please and thank you almost all the time; he often remembers to hold the door when my hands are full; he's an ace at grocery cart returns (the same cannot be said for anyone else in New Jersey). I'm proud to see how kind and well-mannered he is.
At school, he's been practicing using good table manners. Today, the second grade took a trip to a local restaurant to demonstrate their freshly minted table manners. He got a haircut and pulled out his best duds for the trip. He was very excited as he headed off to school this morning. Then, JT and his dressed-up classmates headed off to politely order lunch, keep their elbows off the table, and remember to sit in their chairs while they eat.
He came home and reported that he liked Caesar salad (or at least would be willing to try it again). And he's a big fan of tiramisu. He reports that the waiters were very kind and he hopes they got a big tip. "It's hard work looking after second graders," he announced.
But honestly, a kid like him (mostly) makes the job easy.