I get easily exasperated with my kids when it comes to their manners. Few things peeve me more than people who are rude and unkind.
My children are typical preschoolers. They snatch things from each other, yell, shout "No!" fairly frequently and even become physical at times. However, I'm noticing little changes in their behavior as we talk through the issues at hand. Lately, instead of just telling Xander he's not being kind or to stop being rude, I've been giving him examples of what he could've said or done differently in certain circumstances.
So imagine how excited I was yesterday when Amelia Jayne was carrying around his back pack and instead of quickly snatching it away and yelling how that was his, instead he calmly said, "Amelia Jayne, I'd really like to carry my own back pack. May I have it, please?" YES! These are the words that came out of his mouth!! Amelia Jayne is so compliant when you're kind to her that of course her answer was, "Sure!"
Later that same day Amelia Jayne was trying to get Xander to play with something, so she was basically forcing it into his hands. He clearly didn't want it, but she was not reading his cues. Instead of having an outburst or pushing the toy away, Xander said to her, "I don't really want to play with that right now. Let's play with it later." AJ wasn't as happy about that response, but she accepted it when I intervened.
I told Xander both times how proud I was of his attitude, behavior and kindness to his sister. He, like many preschoolers I'm sure, often responds with an outburst, tears or full-on tantrum. I'm happy to see some minor (and not-so-minor) changes. I'll take every little win I can get!