Happy March! Did you know that March is National Parenting Month? I found that out recently and it just so happens that I had a few parenting and party related posts up my sleeve. I’ve been meaning to write about them so this is the perfect time.
Today’s post was inspired by a few things that happened while hosting guests this past holiday season. We hosted quite a few parties, and when doing so you have to account for things to get a little messed up.
There were quite a few kids around for all of the parties and although they are kids, I felt they still could have behaved a little better. So here is where my unsolicited parenting advice comes in.
If you are taking your kid to a party, you need to teach them how to behave. If they are too young or can’t understand, then you need to be really observant of their behavior while at the party.
Kids don’t know any better and they never will unless you teach them how to properly behave. While this isn’t a parent/mom blog, we need to be honest, at my age, almost everyone I know has kids. Here are a few key things I think kids should be taught when at a party.
1. Include everyone
So this is my way of saying don’t let your kid be mean to other kids. And this advice really starts before the party even begins. If you’re talking to your child about party invitations make it a point to remind them to include everyone and invite everyone from their class, school, friend group, etc. It’s no fun feeling left out.
Even though my daughter is still just a toddler (but acts like a teenager sometimes) the idea of exclusion has already happened when we were hosting over the holidays. After friends were at our house there was an incident where one friend was left out. With three year old emotions running all over the place it was a big deal.
2. Don’t Bogart Something on the Food Table
The reason this is on the list kind of cracks me up. We were hosting and one of the kids at our party literally took ALL of the strawberries off of the fruit tray. Like a mountain of strawberries on his plate. Thankfully his parents handled the situation appropriately and told him he had to eat all of them if he took all of them. It was kind of funny actually.
However, if your child is at an age that they can go through the food line by themselves, it’s a good idea to remind them that there are other people at the party too and taking all of something isn’t great manners.
3. Don’t Destroy Property
Probably the main reason I’m writing this post is because we had some significant damage to our house during a party we hosted over the holidays. Let’s just say that non-washable markers and carpet is not a good combination. I will admit that I was raging mad when it happened and have since calmed down and realized that it’s just “stuff” and not the end of the world.
But, if you know your child is on the more “destructive” side or just doesn’t understand how to treat things that he’s not used to being around, then it’s a great idea to keep a close eye on your child at a party. Most kids know their limits when they are at their own house because that’s what they are used to. But, being at someone’s house is new territory for them and they may do things they normally wouldn’t at home. Making sure your child doesn’t destroy anything is crucial when at a someone’s house.
4. Clean Up After Yourself
We had quite a few parties right in a row over the holidays and the toys were EVERYWHERE! It took forever to clean up, things weren’t together that needed to be in sets, and some things were lost. So, I recommend offering to clean up after your kid when at a party, or making your child do it. It’s a great way for them to learn there are consequences to their actions.
I’ll admit that I’m not the greatest at this. I’m usually just trying to get out the door without total meltdowns. I’m going to try to remember to start cleaning up well before we’re ready to leave. Hopefully that way it won’t be rushed or not done at all.
I hope this post didn’t offend you, but some of these things need to be said. Unfortunately some of these things just aren’t common sense. Hopefully, you are already heeding this advice. If not it’s a great idea to start instilling it in your kids.
Happy National Parenting Month!