Time to party! They’ve got the boys dress suit, or the girls dresses, the hair, and the shoes. No matter how cute they look, there’s one accessory every child needs to bring to a party – good behavior! Getting them to act like little adults can feel like a battle. As with any potential conflict, a little preparation goes a long way.
If it’s an event for mostly adults, ensuring good behavior can also mean keeping them entertained. Do they know other children at the event? If not, introduce them to some new friends as soon as you can, so that a round of duck-duck goose can get underway before the toasts begin.
2. Socializing 101
This is a time when their social skills will be tested, maybe for the first time. If it’s a party for another child, make sure you review concepts like sharing and taking turns before the celebrations begin. Do you have a rule for how you want them to address adults? Have you covered the importance of “Please” and “Thank you”? It’s a good rule of thumb to make your expectations clear before the event, and not during.
Practice shaking hands. The more formal interaction you rehearse, the more comfortable they’ll feel. If your child tends to avoid eye-contact with adults, or hides behind your leg when confronted with strangers, consider how their shyness may impact them during the event. If you have a party on the calendar, now is the time to start focusing on building their confidence.
Bad behavior could result from the well-known phenomenon of “too much birthday.” In over-stimulating environments, acting-out could be the result of stress. Don’t overreact to tantrums – take an understanding approach. Tell them you’ve noticed they’re having trouble remaining calm, and you’re here to help. Go for a walk outside, do some light exercise, and take deep breaths. Only return to the party once you’ve restored inner peace.
4. Get a good night’s snooze!
Just like adults, children perform the best when they’ve had a good night’s sleep. The day before the big event, make sure your baby sleeps like a baby.
5. Positive Reinforcement
Just as you would outside of a party, communicate to your children how proud you feel when they respond appropriately to unfamiliar situations.
While you emphasize the importance of good behavior, don’t create a stressful, pre-party environment. You’re both going to have fun, no matter what. And whatever outfit you pick for the occasion, remind your kids: They’re never fully dressed without a smile. Check out our girls formal clothing and boys formal clothing together and find a look you’ll both be excited about!