My aunt is a stickler for good manners and she’s coming for Christmas dinner. What manners are a must for children four and six-years old?
–Alice P., Providence, RI
The day before Christmas role play good manners with your children. How to be a good host and what to say — and not say. Start by letting them take turns answering the doorbell to welcome guests with a cheery “Welcome!” — with eye contact and a handshake. Practice eye contact with a couple of staring matches.
Show them how to open a present even if they don’t like the present, and encourage them to find something nice to say about the gift.
Placing their napkin in their lap and eating with a knife, fork, and spoon are easier for some, but it will come with practice and through watching others at the table.
What to say as a toast or for grace. Suggest something such as, “I’m grateful for the love of my family.” Help them learn to express gratitude for something that is not a toy or material object.
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