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Child Care


Party Behavior

How to Help Your Child Become a Little Lady or Gentleman

By Elizabeth Pantley Author of Kid Cooperation, Perfect Parenting and Hidden Messages

Situation: Every time I take my son to a party his behavior embarrasses me. It's as if he leaves his manners at home! We've been invited to several holiday parties, and I'd really love to go. How can I get my son to behave at these events?

Think about it: Some kids get so caught up in the unusual atmosphere of a party that they forget all they have been taught about manners.

Prepare: It's best to use "preventative" parenting when possible. In other words, if you're invited to a party, spend some time before you arrive at the event to review what behavior is expected of your child. You might even make a list of party rules and review them before leaving the house. While at the party, if his behavior starts to slide, simply remind him of the rules.

Pretend: If you have a younger child, role-play a few parties at home. Having a "pretend" party will allow you to practice the manners your child will be expected to use. It helps to exaggerate your manners so that they are very obvious to your child.

Privacy: Avoid correcting or reprimanding your child in front of other guests. Take your child into a private room, such as a bathroom, for a discussion. Keep your comments brief and to the point. Don't just point out what he has done wrong, give specific instructions about the behavior you want to see instead.

Pace: Sometimes, a child's elaborate expectations of a party don't match up to the real event. Or sometimes the event is happening so fast, or is so kaleidoscopic that your child is lost in the scramble. The child may be disappointed or overwhelmed and covering these feelings with misbehavior. It may be helpful to remove him from the activity for a few minutes of quiet to help him regroup. Help him focus on the good things that are happening. Give him a glass of water and a hug and a kiss, and then hold his hand as you lead him back to the party.

Excerpted from Perfect Parenting : The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips by Elizabeth Pantley. Copyright 1999 by Elizabeth Pantley (http://www.pantley.com/elizabeth)

Reproduced with permission by NTC/Contemporary Publishing Group, Inc.

Books by Elizabeth Pantley

* Kid Cooperation : How to Stop Yelling, Nagging and Pleading and Get Kids to Cooperate

Would you like to know how to get your children to willingly cooperate? Would you like to eliminate many of your daily battles and end the yelling, nagging, and pleading? Would you like to handle discipline issues with knowledge and authority? During this process, would you like to learn how to boost your children's self-esteem, feel better about yourself as a person, and even improve your marriage?

* Perfect Parenting : The Dictionary of 1,000 Parenting Tips

In my years of raising eight children and advising parents through my pediatric practice and through twenty-three parenting books, I have learned as much as I have given. I have discovered one parenting dilemma that arises repeatedly. This dilemma is the arduous process of deciding on the right course of action when confronted with a discipline or behavior issue.

* Hidden Messages : What Our Words and Actions Are Really Telling Our Children

In Hidden Messages, parent and educator Elizabeth Pantley shares stories drawn from hundreds of parents that demonstrate how they unknowingly send their kids negative messages through their words and actions. After each story she provides a gentle lesson by showing the child's perspective on the same scenario and offers suggestions for specific changes parents can make to improve the hidden messages behind theirwords and deeds.

* Baby Place Bookstore

For more about raising children, come visit our bookstore. Feel free to browse!

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