Well the holidays are upon us, and those of us with children, and want to entertain or go out, have a moment of dread as to how will the kids behave? Will Johnny embarrass us with deciding to perform his dance moves during a Thanksgiving prayer, will Sally decide to disrobe when grandpa is in the middle of telling the holiday group about how much he loves or loved the woman he married, will Billy wiggle and jiggle with his cousins during dinner, and then for some reason, let out a Banshee yell for no apparent reason and then laugh proudly and hysterically when everyone looks at him in shock expecting a limb to be missing?
As a babysitter I have to admit that mealtime, children, and me have a difficult time. When I was growing up my mom would NEVER let us play at the table; now I believe every parent allows their kids to play at the table, get down, come back, dance, scream, yell etc. at the table. My mom said that if we got down from the table we would be done, AND no snacks, dessert, etc until the next meal. My mom meant business too, so we knew we would get really hungry if we didn’t eat our meal. So we sat and ate our meal. I remember one time my brother and I were making pig grunts at the dinner table and laughing our heads off when mom made us get down before we finished because we were playing at the table, and we didn’t get anything else to eat until breakfast the next day. We didn’t die, we weren’t traumatized, and I have a fond memory of my brother and I bonding by getting in trouble together. It was us against the “Man/Mother”, and of course she won. I cherish that memory.
All I can say about entertaining with children is that it starts BEFORE the event. Parents can’t expect their kids to sit perfectly with terrific manners if they don’t expect it from day to day. I believe that every family should implement at least one meal where they sit together as a family and practice manners. Here are a few etiquette tips that you should think about so that when it is time to entertain or go out your children aren’t completely clueless (don’t be one of THOSE families):
click link here: Meal time Manners
Enjoy the holidays with a little bit of manners.