Holiday Manners for Children

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.