With Thanksgiving and Christmas arriving shortly, it is the season for gatherings galore. This means it may be a good time to give your children a “brush up” lesson on their manners. It won’t take a dissertation to make them understand. It just takes a quick three minutes at breakfast, in the car on the way to or from school, for two or three times, and the pattern will be set. Use the five ideas below in role play situations to prep your kids for holiday hosting success!
Idea #1- (the welcome)
Teach your children to always greet guests by name, using your traditional form of greeting: a hug, a kiss, or a just a verbal welcome. For example, have them practice by saying “Hello Aunt Mary, Merry Christmas,” followed by a hug, or kiss on the cheek.
Idea #2 – (make guests feel at ease)
Teach children to make their guests feel at ease by taking their coat, showing them where to place their belongings and where the restroom is. It’s also nice to have them show guests where to sit or where other guests are located. If the guest brought a gift, have your child take it and place it where the other gifts are, or have them show guests where to put them.
Idea #3 – (holiday conversation starters)
Using role play again, teach your child to have on hand three conversation starters to “break the ice” when guests arrive. For example, make them aware of a positive current event, like a holiday church event, a holiday caroling event, or community food drive. Two other conversation starters could be where your child asks the guest(s) to share a holiday memory, or whether they will be traveling for the holidays. You, as the parent role play as a guest, and have your child start a conversation with you using one of the mentioned ideas.
Idea #4- (offer refreshments)
Make sure your child realizes the importance of always offering a guest something to eat and drink. Have them practice saying, “May I offer you something to eat and drink?”
Idea #5 – (introductions to other guests)
Practice with your child how to introduce a guest to a few of the other guests if applicable. One example would be, “Uncle Joe, I would like for you to meet my friend Sally!”
I realize these are very simple ideas, but they are very important basic manners that every child should be taught from an early age. Politeness and manners are things that seem to have been forgotten, even by some adults today. This is a refresher on the most basic of manners that everyone should follow not only during the holidays but every day of the year.