I honestly think that manners are one of the hallmarks of good parenting. If a kid says "please" and "thank you" and shares pretty well, you can probably assume that the parents are getting other things right, too. Which is why it pleases me so much that after millions of repetitions, Ben's manners are starting to kick in. He still has a problem remembering to say "please" when asking for something. Usually it's more like, "I want some juice," or the more desperate, "I need some juice." Obviously juice is crucial to the continuation of his life. "My juice levels are critically low, Mommy. I don't have time for social niceties!" However, when I tell him to ask politely he always quickly supplies the "please."
He is rockin' the "thank you," though. He thanks me when I get him food, when I help him get dressed, when I agree to take him to the playground. This morning he even thanked me after I cut his fingernails. "Thank you for cutting my fingernails, Mommy." Oh my god, how cute is that?!
He's even started saying, "no, thank you," when I offer him something he doesn't want. He has no idea yet, but the sting of him not eating broccoli is definitely lessened when he refuses it politely. It gives me a little jolt of "I'm a good mom!" even if all he's eaten that day is bagels, mac & cheese and Popsicles.