1The first time your child walked. A great presentation at school. Pitching a perfect game. An act of kindness towards someone. As parents, we all have countless stories of our kids making us proud. These moments are especially sweet when you work hard to model and enforce values and morals in your children.

After writing and working through The SMART Playbook, I thought I’d share some of mine:

  1. The Perfect Handshake – My middle son loves to surprise grown-ups with the perfect handshake. He takes a confident step forward and says, “Hi, I’m Nicky. Nice to meet you!” There’s often a surprised look on the adult’s face, as if they weren’t expecting a child to put out his hand first. (Sometimes, I catch a sly smile from Nicky at that point…) As a parent, I am thrilled that he has the ability to confidently introduce himself.
  2. “After You, Please” – My older son hosted a play date the other day. The boys were eating pizza and there were only a few pieces left. My son looked at his guest and said, “Would you like some more pizza? There are two pieces left. Would you like the bigger one?” A gracious host in the making? Fingers crossed.
  3. Making Conversation – Having a good old-fashioned conversation face-to face with adults is not something my kids have completely mastered. There are often too many times when I hear “What?” or “Uh-huh” and other simple one-word answers. My parents recently visited and took us out to dinner. At this particular dinner, I witnessed a miracle! My kids were engaging adults in conversation – posing questions and answering in complete sentences! Young tweens leading a conversation? I did a little jump for joy under the table!
  4. You Said “Yeah” – The earlier you start correcting your kids the better. My daughter went through a phase of using “yeah” instead of “yes.” I kept correcting her and now my four-year-old has become the “yeah” police in our house. Whenever we make the mistake of saying, “yeah,” she quickly chimes in and says, “You said yeah!” Yes, I am proud to say that my daughter will speak more eloquently than her mom!

My kids are far from perfect but all those little moments bring me great joy. Will they have moments when they forget to use their manners and social skills? Absolutely. But at least, we keep trying and The SMART Playbook keeps challenging us to practice these important social skills as a family. The Wind kids are on the road to playing it SMART (and of course making their mom very proud!)

Please share and send us your proud-parent moments!


Suzanne Wind
Mom with a Mission
Author of The SMART Playbook – Game-changing life skills for a modern world.


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