Sunday, April 26, 2009

Child Etiquette in Party

Do you remember when you were invited to your first party? If you do, you probably remember the turmoil that went with the invite: What should I wear? Suppose I don’t know anybody? What will I talk about?
In regard to attire, your child can call the host and ask what he or she will be wearing. Or your child can call the parents of the host and check it out. But the attire problem is not the entire problem.
Whether your youngster wants to admit it or not, this is all about our old friend—shyness. When you talk to your child about it, you might want to call it nervousness. In addressing this subject, I often give a little talk about the Olympics. It goes like this:
If you have ever watched the Olympics, you have seen athletes push themselves
beyond what they thought were their physical limits. If you ask the athletes
how they do so and how they overcome the nervousness they must feel before
the competition, they will say, “Preparation.” They get ready physically and
mentally. They go over what they must do again and again, anticipating difficult
patches and challenges, and deciding how they will deal with them. By the
time the event begins, they are ready, excited, and confident. Tell your child to deal with nervousness about the party in the same way. Also, ask
your child what he expects to happen. Will there be dancing? Games? How large a crowd will there be? Tell your child to write down the answers.
Now, tell her to make a second list, a private one, of all of her best qualities. Maybe she really likes her hair or eyes. Maybe she has a great sense of humor that nobody knows about. Maybe she knows a lot about soccer or a certain kind of music. Recognizing these qualities will help her feel more confident and self-assured.
Next, tell your youngster to make a list of things he can talk about at the party. Magazines, newspapers, the radio, or television are all good sources for ideas. Now tell your child to imagine himself at the party, laughing and talking with others.
Imagine walking over to somebody who looks nervous and shy and starting a conversation with that person. One thing your child might say is, “I noticed that you don’t seem to know a lot of people here either. My name is ….”

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