“Can I do anything to help you?” out of the mouth of a 13-year-old boy, sweet music to the ears of this busy party-throwing mom.

The birthday party revelry for my son was billed as “Operation 24/13″on the party invitations—yeah, this crazy mom planned a 24-hour party with seven 12- and 13-year-old boys for my son’s thirteenth birthday this year.

There were airsoft gun wars, trampoline wars, car races on the Xbox system, a fire pit (with drums and a rain dance, no less), some Left Behind movie watching, exploration in the back field, and LOTS of eating. It really is amazing how much food boys eat. I had a steady stream of snacks coming every two hours or so and they were eating as fast as I was preparing. (At least no one threw up this year—his last birthday party got a little messy!)

All the boys were great, very respectful, appreciative of all the food, and having lots of fun. But one boy, Ellis, consistently asked me, “Can I do anything to help you?” I let him know, “That’s okay, I’ve got it,” but I ended up giving him a couple of helpful things to do because he genuinely wanted to help! He certainly made an impression on me. And it got me to thinking, would my son show the same consideration and kindness to the mother of one of the other boys if he were at her house for a birthday party?

What about you? Do you think you have trained your children to be considerate and helpful to others, even when they are “off duty” at someone else’s home?