15 Minutes of Manners

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Categories Behavior, ToddlersTags

Parenting is hard. Really, REALLY hard.

I often tend to focus on the negative aspects of parenting, without acknowledging the really great times. And there are a lot of really amazing aspects of our days…it’s just that they come in small bursts and tend to get overlooked by the tantrums in Target and constant sibling rivalry!

So, Jonathan and Faith, I dedicate this post to you. I urge you other mama’s to chime in and brag about your kids! Let it be an encouragement to the rest of us when we are having a particularly difficult day!

15 Minutes of Manners

On Tuesday of this past week, I took my two 2-year-olds to Panera for breakfast. We arrived sans stroller, sippy cups in hand. The kids stood in line with me while I ordered a cinnamon crunch bagel and a blueberry bagel. I asked them to run them through the bread slicer, and they presented me with a tray of neatly sliced and easy to eat bagel pieces.

I asked Faith to pick a place for us to sit, and she ran to an open table and scampered up. Jonathan climbed into his seat, they bowed their heads for prayer, and we started chowing down. They calmly and politely ate all most all of their bagels. I told them to stay in their seats and I walked back up to the counter to get a to-go bag. I nervously checked back a few times to see if they were in their seats-and THEY WERE!

I had to wait in line no more than 2 minutes, but still! They remained in their seats! I packed up our leftovers for munching in the car, we threw away our trash, and left Panera holding hands, and I know my face was beaming with pride.


I won’t comment on the rest of the day, in order not to tarnish this lovely story of my children’s obedience. But once in a while, don’t you think we need to cut ourselves some slack and say, “I’m not too bad at this MoM thing, and my kids are pretty amazing little people?!”

Please share your encouraging story of good behavior and/or manners!

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12 thoughts on “15 Minutes of Manners”

  1. Although mine aren’t old enough yet to really know what they are doing. We still have had some great experiences! Last week during a day long activity fest from church, to a birthday party, to a dinner out using “big highchairs” they were sweet and pleasant and smiley the whole time. Even while missing a nap!!! Everyone continually commented on how wonderful babies they were. Not always, but that day I certainly agreed.
    .-= Vicky @ thecitycradle´s last blog ..Once upon a dream… =-.

  2. Thanks for this post Krissy.

    I do A LOT of shopping in our local Target … ours has an entire (gigantic) grocery section complete with a well stocked produce area. While doing my shopping last week the lady at the checkout counter said she notices me in there with my three little ones all the time and complimented me on how well behaved they always were … that great feeling still hasn’t worn off …

    I’ve wanted to share that with someone other than my husband … I hope everyone has a story to share … we can have our own little “brag” section …

  3. Krissy, what a great idea. I would agree with you that I don’t often focus on the “good” of my kids.

    My girls (4.5 years old) love to organize and clean. They take such pride in the job they do and the really do a great job. Every morning, without me asking, they go up and make up their beds. This is hard because the room is small and their beds are both up against a wall. They love to get a swiffer and/or a duster and go under beds and furniture. They also do a great job of using Lysol wipes to clean bathroom surfaces.

    They also love to go to restaurants and always very well behaved…mainly because we all love food so much.

  4. I took my boys (twins age 25 months and first grader age 7) on a totally last minute outing for pizza BY MYSELF at a restaurant the other day, no stroller, no sippy cups, no bibs, and they did just fine. It took some juggling but we are finally able to go out while holding hands and they walk along with me quite well. They sat and ate nicely and drank from the big cups with straws. We were all hungry so that probably helped (the food, that is). We finally have more options for outings and travling light(er) than before.

  5. I agree…my boys are very well behaved, especially when we’re out and about. They hold hands when we’re walking through the parking lot or across the street, they stay close by the cart at the grocery store, they pick up their toys without being asked, they don’t touch the stereo and sometimes they even share without being reminded. A friend of mine often remarks on how well they behave and obey. I have to remind myself of that too when I’m feeling like they are being horrible. I really am blessed with 2 very obedient boys…sometimes they just act like the 2 year old boys that they are.
    Thanks for this post. It’s nice to hear some encouraging stories.
    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..The Park =-.

  6. Oh that ROCKS!! You totally should be beaming with pride :)

    While we have our fair share of tantrums, I do have to say that our kids get compliments ALL.THE.TIME about how great they are to just sit there and behave every week in church. I’m so proud of all three of them :)

    And once, we even had a “Your kids are so polite!” comment. It’s so hard to bite your tongue to the automatic “You should have seen them earlier…” reply and just say thank you instead 😉
    .-= Nancy´s last blog ..Way Back When-esday =-.

  7. That is so cute! My husband recently took my kids (21 months) to CPK without me (I was home sick) and he had a chance to “beam with pride” also. He got a head not from a fellow dad there with his own 2 girls and a man actually walked up to him and told him that “When you walked in here with your kids, I thought that you were a goner, but you guys did just great.” The hostess and waitress even commented on their good manners (they said thank you a couple fo times)! I was so proud of all of them!
    .-= Judy´s last blog ..Playmates: for me or for them? =-.

  8. Wow – good for you & your lil’ ones! And thanks for renewing my hope that someday soon, the frequency of outings will increase.

    We took a roadtrip last weekend to visit friends in PA. It was an overnight, but I was a little behind the eight ball in organizing the weekend’s supplies. So I suggested to my husband that instead of killing ourselves, we pack, throw everyone in the car & head to iHop for breakfast. This way we’d be on the road earlier.
    He gave me that look as if to ask, “Really? Do ya really wanna go there?” I wasn’t backing down. They’ll NEVER learn to behave out if we don’t expose them to occassional outings now. So, we packed up & strolled into iHop – two adults, one 7 yr old & 14 month old triplets.

    And I have to say, I was thrilled at how well behaved they ALL were! Their appetites were great, there was minimal throwing of anything & they were nicely distracted by their new environment. Of course for that scene to last my husband & I couldn’t exactly linger over our coffee…but having someone else clean up after a meal made it all worth it! (hey, I left quite a nice tip to express my gratitude!)

  9. I’m in the throes of toddlerhood here too, so I’m having a hard time thinking of an example. But they are quite well behaved in restaurants, having no expectation of being let out of their high chair, like so many singletons insist upon.
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Growing up too fast! =-.

  10. Since our boys were newborns (and their big sister a 27 month old) I have made it a point to take all three of them with me anytime I went out.. weekly grocery shopping trips, lunch dates with my friends, doctor appointments.. You get the idea.

    While logistically it made life a little harder (we are also often on the receiving end of a lot of stares and comments) the result is twin 18month olds, and their almost 4yr old sister, who do very well much of the time in public.

    My latest successful outing with them was a visit to the dentist that lasted almost two hours. All three of them went into the exam room with me and waited patiently while I had my teeth examined and cleaned. Moments like that make the struggles seem worthwhile!
    .-= Cristal´s last blog ..Makes My Monday: Kids + Water = Instant Fun =-.

  11. My 16 month olds have recently begun to help pick up their toys before naps and bedtime. This past Tuesday we went out for a playdate, and when I said, “Let’s pick up toys.” they actually did. It was our first time in this mother’s home and she was very, very impressed. (Secretly, I was too, but I played it cool as though it was nothing.)

  12. I love this post, Krissy! Yes, being parent is really hard. Being a parent of more than one child… HARDER STILL.

    I know I spend a lot of time and energy trying to figure out ways to make our day easier, better, etc., and I don’t spend nearly enough time reflecting on the parts of our day that are damn good. I’m making a mental note to change this. That is, right after my comment below!

    Re: manners in public — My girls used to be great. We took them out to eat all the time and they ate really well (gasp!) and were pretty entertained by the goings on around them. In the past month or so (they will be 22 mos. on the 29th), things have gone downhill. Fast. I’m hoping this is normal for their age?? After the last hellish experience, I’m thinking their next trip to a restaurant will be when they turn 4!

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