Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ask The Park Wife: Children's Manners

Dear Park Wife,

We have been invited to a holiday party at the home of my husband's boss. There will be a sit down dinner. Here is the kicker, they have invited our children too!!! I am worried that they will spit out the food, talk with their mouthes full or say something inappropriate. What do I do?
Shaking Like A Leaf in Missouri

The Park Wife responds:

Sweetie, Rome was not built in a day, but don't plan your conniption fit yet. You are going to be able to make it through so that your husband will still be employed by the end of the night. At least I hope, the economy is bad, so sistah start NOW!

How I see it, you have two options: 1- Tell your hostess that you and your spouse would love to come, however, the kids are quiet busy with school, sports, science project, basket weaving, trying to secure their space on Santa's NICE list, etc or 2- Have a "manners bootcamp" from now until the party time. Make it fun, but keep them focused on what is expected of them. Hit the big things like please and thank you, no elbows on table and basic dinner conversation.

The night of the party, have a pre-party refresher (additionally, you may bribe and threaten to take away their Ipad, oh wait, that was my secret). I think you will be able to limp through, HOWEVER, manners like all child training is not a one time thing, it is on-going.  They might go through a rebellious stage where they want to chew gum like a horse, don't freak, just get a bit tighter on your training regimen. A glimmer of HOPE,  I have never seen a child with well-mannered parents who grew into an adult completely devoid of social grace

Good luck and I hope they don't serve spaghetti,
The Park Wife

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