Holiday Manners for ChildrenJules Hirst
1. Receiving gifts you don't like – Have a conversation with your children about “good manners” before the holiday season. You might even practice with them or example, “your aunt Beth gives you a new jacket, but you were hoping for the newest x-box game” remember to say a sincere “thank you” followed by a hug and kiss
2. Writing good thank you notes (how fast should you send them, what should be included, is email OK or no) – This is a perfect time to teach your children to write thank you notes… even if they do not yet know how to write.
If children do not write; then they can draw a picture of the item or the child using the item and the parent can assist them with writing the to and from
For youth and teens: the note should include, what they were given and how they plan on using it
3. Table manners at parties (handling food you don't like, not chewing with your mouth open, etc.)
Hopefully your children have the basic table manners.. come to the table with clean hands, using utensils not their hands to eat, saying please and thank you etc., but along with the basic skills children and teens should also be taught:
- Wait until everyone is served before eating
- If there is something on the plate or if they tasted something they do not like.. DO NOT make a face or begin to complain simply don’t eat it.
- No toys, books or cell phones at the table
- Laying their napkin on their lap
- Chew with your mouth closed
And parents the no cell phone at the dinner table… applies to you as well.
4. Talking to relatives and family friends politely (not interrupting, good questions to ask)
Remember to make eye contact when speaking to relatives. Also, keep the technology in your pocket, purse, backpack or at home. If you are having a conversation with your aunt then she should get your full attention
5. Dealing with multiple hugs and kisses – When talking to your kids about “good manners” and what is expected of them when they receive a gift they do not like, this is also a perfect time to explain to them their relatives will be happy to see them and we should acknowledge them with a hug and or a kiss. Remind kids not to make faces or roll their eyes whenever an adult extends their arms for a hug or grandma approaches you with a kiss to the check
Remember to remind your kids what the Holidays are about and it is not just about gifts. And remember as the parent/adult to be a good role model. Yes, if you expect your children to display good manners then it first must come from you.