Party Behaviour: How to Help Your Child Become a Little Lady or Gentleman

At parties, children get so caught up in the moment and excitement that they tend to forget all the manners they’ve learnt, even to the point of embarrassment for you as the parent. Here are the four P’s to consider, in order to achieving model behaviour from your child:

Prepare: When invited to a party, take the time to review what kind of behaviour would be expected of your child. This kind of ‘preventative’ parenting is best at times like this. Make a list of party rules and explain them to your child in detail and the importance of abiding by them. Remember to refresh your child’s mind just before you leave for the party. Keep a close eye on him at the party. If his behaviour starts to wane, a simple reminder of the rules should do.

Pretend: ‘Role-play’ is a good tool to use to get your child to understand the importance of manners. This works especially with younger children. Throw a simple ‘pretend’ party that gives you the opportunity to help your child practise ‘good behaviour’ and their manners like they would at the real party. Exaggerating your manners during the role-play is a good idea in order to drive the point home.

Privacy: Do not scold or correct your child in front of other guests. Give them some privacy in a private room or bathroom. Discuss what happened, what was wrong. Remember to keep your chat with your child very brief. Point out what was done wrong and give out specific instructions and reminders about manners learnt and the kind of behaviour expected from him.

Pace: Sometimes the party either does not meet the expectations of your child, or he seems overwhelmed with all the activity, which might cause him to misbehave. It helps if you remove him from the party for a few minutes to recuperate. A glass of water, a hug and a kiss might just be the trick to encourage better behaviour.