The Holidays are the few times during the year when the extended family gets together. There are a lot of potential pitfalls with children and grown ups alike that can be avoided or navigated with more ease.

    Children are always a concern as parents are worried about how their children will act towards adults, other children, and among each other.

First, manners that are desired during holiday parties are manners that need to be practiced all year long. Don’t expect children to have manners if they  aren’t part of their everyday behavior. However, if a child’s manners are below expectation, parents should quietly pull them aside and let them know what  is expected, rather than correcting them in front of everyone.

Second, parties are an exciting place and children will have a difficult time always being in control. There will be accidents and situations which will cause strain – expect them and go with the flow.

Third, help yourself have some control over your child’s activities by creating an activity that everyone can be involved in. Maybe a board game, charades, or an outdoor game that grown ups and children can participate in. That goes for the grandparents as well. Children love their grandparents, so set up an activity where they will be able to share some precious moments together.

Fourth, children have physical and emotional needs, so parents should remember to keep children well rested before the party, well fed during the party,  and while attending the party give them respect. Embarrassing stories may seem cute to you, but they may be extremely uncomfortable for a child to hear – make sure your not with in ear shot when talking about your child. Also, try not to demand of your child to perform special skills which may make them appear better than other children.

Relax, it’s the holidays,  come to the party with patience, love, and understanding.