How to Prep Your Kids for the Holidays: Teach Them Manners

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Updated March 2, 2017
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With family and friends attending holiday dinners, manners are on the minds of many parents. There is more to manners than just polite social behavior. Manners can help encourage children to respect and treat others like themselves. Here are a few tips on the best way to nurture good manners in your children during this holiday season:

Talk to your children about your expectations before the holiday event. Tell your children that they might be disappointed by a gift they may receive, but encourage them to be gracious even if they are disappointed. Let your children know how the evening is planned so they will have clear expectations before your family arrives.

Set Reasonable Expectations. An older child probably already knows how to say, “Thank you,” but a younger children may need gentle reminders when given a gift from a family member. Instead of shouting across the room, kneel down at the child’s level and gently whisper a reminder into their ear.

Model Respect at Home. If your children are experiencing anxiety about their behavior during the holiday event, create a mock holiday dinner at home a couple of days before.

Reinforce Positive Behavior. Let your children know that you are noticing their good behavior during the event. Recognize even the small things by saying, “I appreciate the way you remembered to tell your Aunt thank you without having to be reminded.”

It takes a consistent effort to reinforce respectful behavior. Your children will be quickly on their way to meaningful manners with these few small steps.

How are you preparing your children for the holidays? Any tips?

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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