Last week, I answered a reader’s question about how to teach their son how to be a polite guest when on a playdate. It occurred to me that it is also helpful to teach our kids how to be polite hosts and have good host etiquette when having friends over to the house.
Knowing how to make someone feel welcome and comfortable in your home is a lifelong skill that will come in handy when your kids are hosting a party or dinner for a date, in-laws, or business associates. So, it’s not too soon to start teaching your children the basics of host etiquette so that their friends enjoy coming to your house and spending time with your son or daughter.
Here are some tips to teach even your youngest child who has friends over to play.
1. Greet and Meet. Kids should greet their friends at the door and then introduce them to the family if meeting them for the first time. A proper introduction such as, “Mom. I’d like to introduce to you my friend, Kelly Peters. Kelly, this is my mother, Mrs. Symington.” Note that a child introduces their friend to you and that they use Mrs. or Mr. in the introduction. I prefer that kids call me “Miss Aimee” so I would then just tell the child what they can call me instead of Mrs. Symington. Kids should also introduce their friends to their siblings.
2. Provide choices. When the friend arrives your child should offer their friend choices of things to do and then let him/her decide. Like for example, “Would you like to play soccer, play a board game, or play legos?” This way the guest knows what the options are and can make the decision what he/she would like to do first. No one likes a Little Miss Bossy Boots telling them what to do!
3. Play not surf. I really encourage my kids that when they have friends over to play it means to PLAY not watch, surf, or text! This means not watching TV or sitting around playing games on their iPads or phones or texting the other friends who aren’t there! I figure that kids can do that by themself when their friends are not over!
4. Share. Remind your kids that they need to share their things when guests come over. A tip is to ask your kids if there is something they really don’t want to share then put it away and out of sight to avoid a fuss when the friend comes over. Another thing you can remind your kids to share is that if they get somehting to eat or drink that they need to offer the same to their friend.
5. Say Thanks. Walk the friend to the door when they leave and thank them for coming over. All of this is great host etiquette!