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Want Good Kids For Family Holiday Meals?

November 15th, 2017
Want Good Kids For Family Holiday Meals?
So we all know Christmas can be a stressful time. So many family members congregated under one roof with copious amounts of alcohol and turkey basting over competitiveness. Throw in the mix a tantruming toddler or a surely teenager and your going to find the vodka all gone by the time you come to light the Christmas pudding!

It’s not like any of us really want a sloppy kiss from Aunt Maude, or to hear about Grandpa Tony’s toenail infection, but hey, we’d like the kids to at least fake behaving like civilised human beings through the Christmas dinner.

Setting the foundations for a Von Trappe-esque family holiday meal may be easier than you think however. The best way to get your child to be well behaved during social occasions is to give them some hosting responsibilities.
The kids aren’t playing at tea parties with my best china!
Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting you encourage your three year old to serve boiling hot gravy from your nan's antique gravy boat, but there are some social etiquette skills that everyone from the youngest tot the most socially awkward teenager can cope with.
My kids don’t so much roll out the red carpet, as roll out the room and hide, usually glued to some sort ipad or phone!
Set the rule that for special occasions it is the children’s job to greet guests. Provided you know who’s at the door and it’s safe for them to do so, get them to open the door and say the first hellos to your visitors. Older children can take coats etc (you’ll probably find even youngsters like to try this kind of responsibility) and all children can lead guests through to whichever room you’re hosting in.
For bonus points, give them a few questions to try and use in conversation such as, "how was your journey?" or "can I get you anything to drink?"
Do we need to sieve the gravy dear....?
Food can be a big area of contention at holiday meals, so get the kids involved by asking them to hand out any snacks or nibbles. When you are selecting serving dishes for crisps, sausage rolls or mini vol-au-vents, consider how easy they are for children to carry. Deep dishes, funky pots, even large mugs can be used as unique food containers that kids can safely offer round to guests.
Touch nothing! All breakages must be paid for.
Oh dear, you’ve been invited over Great Grandmama’s for Boxing Day dinner and you are dreading your four year old using her priceless cat figurines as playthings! Tell children the simple rule that they must ask first before playing with anything. For younger children you can even act this out first in their bedroom, role playing wandering around their room and picking up toys.
And now for the washing up...
Encourage your child to offer at least one helping hand during the course of the day. This might be to fetch a drink, clear some plates, find Grandad's glasses. Set them the challenge of doing at least one ‘helpful’ thing and enjoy as they go all out trying to be helpful.

This will work especially well if you make it into a challenge or game of some sort. Why not give them a bingo board like our example below and promise them the reward of a festive film night or similar treat if they fill up the board!
Proud Mummy Blog Image 11
What tips and/or tricks do you have? Let us know below!!

Hayley x

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