We all have been to a child’s birthday party when the child opens a birthday present and exclaims, “I don’t like this.” We simultaneously cringe and breathe a sign of relief knowing the parents are mortified, but at least it isn’t our child – at least not yet. With some simple prep before the birthday party, you can avoid these situations while teaching your child basic manners.
The “why” – Explain to your child that everyone is coming to the party to celebrate her birthday because they love her. Tell her how special that is and that you want everyone to realize how much she appreciates that.
Not on the list – Your child most likely will receive gifts he didn’t ask for. Let him know that people pick out gifts because they think he will like them even if he didn’t ask for it. Explain that a simple “This looks fun!” is an appropriate response and will make the gift giver feel special. He might be surprised because it might turn out to be his favorite gift.
Double Take – Your child opens up the newest American Doll and realizes she already has it. Prep her to say a generous, “Thank you!” and let her know you can always exchange it later.
Gloating – Your son received the new video game he has been wanting since it hit the shelves. He teases the other kids that now he has it and they don’t. Remind him before the party how important sharing is and that a good sport (and grateful person) doesn’t hold a gift over the other guests’ heads.
With little prep you can remind your child about good manners of gratitude and avoid some embarrassing moments that would make you and Ms. Manners blush!