It is party season. Do you know how to party? Some collegiates think partying is a required course. I am thinking more along the lines of family and children’s celebrations. The time between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is a busy party season. There are always a few graduations to attend. These might include high school, middle school, college and even kindergarten or preschool. Milestones are fun to celebrate.
My own wedding fell in that time period. So did the weddings of three of my children and the birthdays of three (not the same three) of my children, plus mine. Oh, my!
Anytime there is a party to host or to attend there are some things we need to know and practice. Like most skills we improve with practice, which means we might be fairly awful at the start. In other words, your children might be awful at party behavior. They probably need to be reminded of some or all of their party skills prior to every party and maybe privately and gently during the party, also.
Try to be patient with them. Here are a few party skills to practice.
As a guest:
- This means please respond. Say yes I will be attending or give your regrets. Don’t leave them guessing. Do this in a timely manner. Not the day before.
- Take an appropriate gift.
- Be happy for the guest of honor and express it.
- During gift opening be engaging but not overwhelming. Don’t crowd them.
- Accept offered food and drink, but use some restraint and don’t pig out. This is not your opportunity to have a meal of only chips and cupcakes.
- Say thanks to the host(s).
- If you have a close relationship with the host then offer to assist with preparations, food, or clean up.
As a host:
- Invitations (written or oral) should go out 3-6 weeks in advance.
- Make sure your home is clean enough that guest will feel welcome and comfortable. Perfection is not required.
- Greet your guests and focus on them.
- Make sure guest know how to find the food, bathrooms, and activities.
- While opening gifts be thankful. Do not express disappointment, dissatisfaction, or criticism. All gifts costs time and/or money and the gesture should be appreciated.
- Interact with all guests of all ages, not just your favorites.
- Thank each one for attending. Say goodbye as they depart.
- Written thank you notes are becoming as extinct as dinosaurs, typewriters, and landlines, but are lovely to receive. I encourage you to do this even if it takes you months.
Like anything we think is important enough to practice, these party skills will become easier and make every party better. Parties occur frequently. With practice your child could be the favorite party guest or host. Keep Calm. . . and Party On.